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DUNANT, Jean Henry.

Un souvenir de Solferino.

Geneva : 1862 Stock Code: 110889
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First edition. Presentation copy from the author, inscribed on a blank before the half-title: "Monsieur Albert Dunant de la part de l'auteur", apparently in a secretarial hand. An excellent familial association: Albert Dunant was a state councillor for the canton of Geneva; this copy also carries his attractive etched bookplate and official autograph stamp on the half-title. One of 1,600 copies privately printed by Dunant.
"Dunant, a Swiss philanthropist, must have been aware of Florence Nightingale's work in the Crimea, for it was what he read of the treatment of the sick and wounded in that war that drove him to the seat of the war in Italy between the French and the Austrians in 1859. He was present at the battle of Solferino, where the casualties were appalling, totalling nearly 40,000 on both sides. The treatment of the wounded was worse than callous: it was virtually non-existent. Dunant's account of the state of affairs, disarmingly entitled A Souvenir of Solferino, produced almost immediate results. An unofficial international conference met in Geneva in October 1863, and in the following year the Swiss Government called for an official conference at which the Geneva Convention was drawn up and signed on 22 August 1864. This provided for the humane treatment of the sick and the wounded, and the proper treatment of prisoners of war and the civilian population. After hesitation on the part of some governments, including the British, and as the result of subsequent conferences, the Convention as it now stands was signed in 1906 by the governments of every civilized country in the world. Dunant was the first recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1901" (PMM).

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Tall octavo (270 x 172 mm). Contemporary red half cloth, gilt lettered spine, marbled sides, with the original drab brown wrappers bound in. Housed in a black quarter morocco solander box by the Chelsea Bindery.


Double-page coloured plan of the battle.


Spine sunned, general light peripheral toning to letterpress. An excellent copy.


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