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2020-09-16 14:02:43
CORVINUS PRESS: TILLERY, John.
A Diary of the Travels.
[London:] Corvinus Press,, 1938. Octavo. Original white-cloth-backed buff paper boards hand-printed with pine-sprig and star motifs, spine lettered in gilt, dove vignette gilt to backstrip on front board, top edge gilt, others untrimmed, printed throughout on Silverflake paper. Mild toning to spine ends, top edges of both boards a little rubbed, upper outer corners slightly bumped, very mild soiling to front pastedown. An excellent copy. First and only edition, limited to 40 copies for personal distribution by Viscount Carlow, founder of the Corvinus Press, as a Christmas gift, this copy inscribed on the presentation leaf "For Eileen, from Carlow, 1938". The text was printed verbatim from the original manuscript, which is now in the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich. It is today inevitably uncommon, with three copies appearing at auction, the last in 1994, and 12 now confined to libraries. "John Tillery, an American sailor, served on board [HMS] Tigre under Sir Sidney Smith … Tillery and 18 shipmates were captured by the French at Acre on 21 March 1799. Initially they were well treated — Napoleon even sent them a bottle of Jew's Brandy and a share of his provisions. Tillery was interrogated by Napoleon himself and asked to identify the body of a dead marine. However, after Napoleon's failure at Acre, the prisoners were marched to Egypt and kept in appalling conditions … The prisoners were released on 22 December and returned to England on board HMS Theseus".
Bookseller: Peter Harrington [United Kingdom]
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