First edition. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author to Sir Thomas Reade. Two volumes. Octavo. Handsomely bound in contemporary full burgundy morocco, the boards ruled and elaborately decorated in gilt; the spines with five raised bands, gilt-ruled compartments containing scrolling foliate borders and floral devices in gilt and with contrasting black and orange morocco title labels lettered in gilt. Gilt dentelles. All edges gilt. Cream endpapers. Original fore-edge painting to each volume, the first depicting Table Mountain in South Africa, the second illustrating Southampton Harbour. Contemporary bookseller's label to the front pastedown: "J. J. Guillaume / Foreign and English Bookseller, Printer, Bookbinder, &c / 36 Elizabeth Square St. Eaton Sq". Illustrated with an engraved frontispiece to each volume after original drawings by Kennedy. A very good set, the bindings square and firm with cracking to the front hinge of the first volume, very minor chipping to the head of the second volume and a little rubbing to the corners. The contents, with a little toning and light spotting to the preliminary pages and a water mark to the foot of the frontispiece of the second volume are otherwise in very good order and clean throughout. A most attractive set.
Inscribed by Captain J. Clark Kennedy in black ink on the front endpaper of the first volume "To Sir Thomas Reade C.B. / with the grateful / remembrances and kindest / regards of / The Author & his Companion / June 15th 1846." Captain John Clark Kennedy (1817-1867), the son of the noted Waterloo veteran Sir Alexander Clark Kennedy, began his military career in the 7th Dragoon Guards, later exchanging to the 18th Royal Irish Foot, with which he served during the China expedition of 1842, the second Sikh war and the Crimean War, where he commanded troops at the siege of Sebastopol. The present work provides an account of his travels through Northern Africa undertaken during a period of leave. Choosing to avoid "political discussions", he instead focuses on everyday life and the character of the Maghrebi Arabs: "Some of the details may possibly be deemed trivial; but it is often in the petty occurrences of everyday life that the character of a people may be studied to greater advantage than in the more serious events where the fiercer passions play their part" (p.vi). The recipient of the present copy, Sir Thomas Reade (1782-1849), was a fellow army officer who participated in campaigns in Holland, Egypt and America, as well as a scholar and antiquarian, who collected a range of artefacts, many of which are now held in the British Museum. In May 1836, Reade became consul general in Tunis, remaining in the post until his death in 1849. A splendid association copy in a sumptuous contemporary binding, additionally enhanced by two early fore-edge paintings.
Stock code: 20892