Journal of a Route Across India, through Egypt, to England
1819, Fitzclarence's account of the journey, with maps and hand-coloured aquatint plates
First edition. Hardback, half-leather (Victorian rebound), marbled paper covered boards. Contrasting leather title label to spine. 27 × 22cm, xxiv + 502pp, errata & plate index.
Full title: Journal of a Route Across India, through Egypt, to England, in the Latter End of the Years 1817, and the Beginning of 1818
A rare first edition of the English peer and soldier George Augustus Fitzclarence's account of his journey from India to England in 1817–18 whilst carrying despatches.. The author was the eldest illegitimate son of William IV by Dorothea Jordan, he served as aide-de-camp to Hastings in India 1816–17 and became first Earl of Munster in June 1831. The book contains a noted account of a visit to the Pyramids with Sir Henry Salt and Giovanni Battista Belzoni, as well as a description of the 'Whehabbee pirates' of Ra's al-Khaymah.
The book is illustrated with 7 engraved maps and plans, (one folding, 4 with explanatory letterpress leaf), 9 hand-coloured aquatint plates, 3 plain plates. All plates are present and in the correct place as per the plate index. The nine coloured plates show: 1. Pettah the Citadel and Pettah of Dowlutabad; 2. the Gorkah soldier; 3. The fort of Hattrass; 4. The Rocket Corps and the Dromedary Corps; 5. Irregular Cavalry; 6. Sepoys; 7. Khanga (or Khanja) on the Nile; 8. Interior chamber of the Great Pyramid of Egypt; 9. Ornaments from Timbuctoo. The three plain plates show 1. The great gun at Agra; 2. Second pyramid of Egypt, exterior; and 3. Second pyramid of Egypt, interior and sarcophagus. The maps and plans: the first is a large fold-out map of the Seat of War in India 1817/1818, the remaining six are: 1. plan of the action at Jubbulpoor; 2. plan of the action at Nagpoor / Nagapoor; 3. plan of the action at Meenpoor / Meinpoor; 4. plan of the Great Temple at Keylas; 5. plan of the action at Poonah; and 6. map of Egypt.
This copy is in good plus condition for age. The leather binding is rubbed with splitting to the joints at the top and base of the spine, with come curling to the backstrip at the base, the hinges are secure and in good order. The pastedowns and endpapers have light scattered foxing, but the main body of text is in good, clean condition. All but one of the colour plates have retained their tissue-guard, the large map with some browning and with some offsetting to first page of text, and one small marginal crease where the book closes. A little offsetting from the maps and plans. Pages 493 to the end have some old worming to the bottom margin, not affecting text. The inner binding secure, and the book is free from inscription. Overall, a very decent copy.
Further pictures are available upon request.Sold