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Das Bataillon der Philhellenen, dessen Errichtung, Feldzug und Untergang.
Baden (Switzerland), Diebold, 1828. - 8vo (17.5 : 10.5 cm). Lithographed portrait, XVIII, 226 p., 1 letterpress folding table. First edition, dedication copy for the author?s bride. The principal eyewitness account of the short and ill-fated history of the ?Philhellene? or ?Sacred Battalion? under Mavrocordato and the German general Count Normann. The troop was formed in May 1822 by Germans and Frenchmen; the author, born in 1798, served as a medical officer. On 16 July 1822 the battalion was wiped out by Turkish soldiers near Peta (Epirus). Elster escaped the disaster and, due to his capabilities as a doctor and musician, eventually reached Smyrna. There he might have established himself comfortably. He was unable, however, to forget his old love ?Röschen? (little Rose) in his hometown Benshausen in Thuringia. It is her to whom the author?s autograph dedication on front fly-leaf is directed: ?Meinem geliebten Röschen von Ihrem D. Elster? Returned to Europe as early as 1823 he could not marry her before 1828. In the meantime Elster worked as a music teacher in Lenzburg (Switzerland) and joined the Pestalozzi circle. After Röschen?s premature death in 1834 Elster returned to Switzerland where he died in 1857. The striking gilding of the presentation copy appears as a memento mori for Elster?s mostly fallen compatriots of the Philhellene Battalion. Their names and fate are listed on the folding table. The frontispiece portrays Count Normann-Ehrenfels, died in Missolunghi in November 1822. - Droulia, Philhellénisme, no. 1419; Barth & Kehring-Korn, Die Philhellenenzeit, p. 106 ff.; not in Blackmer. - Slipcase rubbed and bumped, endpapers oxidized, closed tear to the folding table. A fine, crisp copy printed on writing paper. Bound for the author in dark green morocco richly gilt with glazed white endpapers and gilt edges. Preserved in the original marbled paper slipcase. [Attributes: First Edition; Signed Copy; Hard Cover]
      [Bookseller: Antiquariat Müller & Draheim GbR]
Last Found On: 2015-05-21           Check availability:      AbeBooks    

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