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History of the British Expedition to Egypt;
London: T. Egerton,, 1802. to which is subjoined, a Sketch of the Present State of that Country and its Means of Defence. Quarto (287 x 221 mm). Contemporary red straight-grain morocco, gilt-banded spine, gilt roll tool border on sides enclosing single-line gilt panel with corner rosettes, gilt roll tool turn-ins, all edges gilt, marbled endpapers. Stipple-engraved portrait frontispiece of Sir Ralph Abercromby by Meyer after Hoppner, handcoloured folding map of the western branch of the Nile (Cairo to Rosetta), map of the battle of Alexandria (units handcoloured), handcoloured map of the skirmish near Rahmanie, 2 folding letterpress tables. Old dampstain to frontispiece and title page (causing discolouration), occasional thumbing, closed-tear in margin of Alexandria map. First edition, a very good wide-margined copy in a lovely period binding. A popular first-hand account of the British expedition to wrest Egypt from French control, written by Sir Robert Thomas Wilson (1777-1849), who served under the expedition's leader, Sir Ralph Abercromby. An interesting association copy, with the contemporary ownership inscription on a preliminary blank of "G. Bosville"; this would appear to be Lieutenant-General Godfrey Bosville Macdonald, 3rd Baron Macdonald of Slate (1775-1832), who legally changed his name to Godfrey Bosville (1814) and then to Godfrey Bosville Macdonald (1824). He served in the Low Countries, West Indies, Cape of Good Hope and the Peninsular, where Wilson also served but, it would appear, not at the same time. Bosville's brother, Thomas, married Wilson's sister Fanny in 1793: "My sister Fanny had in the year 1793 married Colonel Bosville of the Coldstream Guards, brother of Mr. Bosville of Thorpe Hall and of Lady Macdonald... Obliged a week after he had married my sister to embark with his regiment for Holland, he was soon afterwards killed in the action of Lincelles [17 August 1793 in the Flanders Campaign of the War of the First Coalition], where the Guards acquired great credit. No officer in the corps was more esteemed; and though 6 feet 4 inches in height, he was, from his corresponding symmetry of form, considered one of the handsomest men in Europe [a footnote mentions that:] his height occasioned his death, for a musket-ball struck him in the head" (Life of General Sir Robert Wilson... from Autobiographical Memoirs, London 1862, p. 53). "[Wilson] landed at Abu Qir Bay on 7 March 1801, and took part in the action of the 13th and in the battle of Alexandria on the 21st. Upon Abercromby's death Major-General (later Lord) Hutchinson succeeded him and employed Wilson on several missions. In July Wilson entered Cairo with Hutchinson, and was at the siege of Alexandria in August and its capitulation on the 25th. He left Egypt on 11 September and returned to England via Malta and Toulon, arriving at the end of December. For his services in Egypt he was made a knight of the order of the Crescent of Turkey. In 1802 Wilson published The History of the British Expedition to Egypt, which went through several editions. The work derived especial popularity from its charges of cruelty against Napoleon, towards both his prisoners at Jaffa and his own soldiers at Cairo. Napoleon complained to the British government and, receiving no satisfaction, ordered Colonel Sebastiani to issue a counter-report" (ODNB).
      [Bookseller: Peter Harrington]
Last Found On: 2015-12-15           Check availability:      Biblio    

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