Smith, Elder & Co. 1st ed., 1847. Viii + 113 pp., lithographic frontis (fldg. & tinted) + 15 other plates (4 fldg.) & 2 charts (fldg.). Contemporary navy blue full straight-grained morocco ; gilt lettering in 1 compartment & 5 ornately gilt compartments to spine ; raised bands ; blind border to boards ; foliate edge-roll ; blind milling to the turn-ins. 22 x 14cm. Slightly rubbed ; browning of leaves o/w V.G. In June 1843, the paddle-steamer HMS GORGON (frigate), arrived in the River Plate and joined the squadron under Commodore John Purvis. This was during the Uruguayan Civil War and Monte Video (Montevideo) was under threat of attack from the powerful Buenos Ayrean army. For their protection, British residents looked to the Royal Navy operating in those waters. With this view in mind, ships were ordered to anchor as close in to the shore as possible, GORGON among them, and except for a couple of trips she remained there from June 1843 to May 1844, riding out many storms. However, one particularly fierce storm on the 10th May 1844, drove the steamer from her anchors and she went aground. The author, Lieutenant Astley Cooper Key, later (Admiral, Sir, 1821-1888) had joined GORGON in early 1844 and played a leading role in re-floating the steam frigate. This is a contemporary first-hand account of how the ship was saved from destruction ; an incident that caused great interest in the 1840s as there was little experience of this kind of operation with steamers, and it had previously been a common-held view that such vessels were free from the usual dangers attending ships riding out a gale. Illustrated with a fine folding and tinted lithographic frontispiece being a view of the stranding ; plus 15 other plates (4 folding) and 2 charts (both folding) illustrating the salvage operation. GORGON was built in 1837 and survived this ordeal to go on to win battle honours at Obligado (1845) and Baltic (1854-5), to add to the one she had already gained at Syria (1840). She was broken up in 1865. Fine binding copy. (Sabin 37665, Abbey 727).