HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EXPEDITION TO EGYPT ; TO WHICH IS SUBJOINED, A SKETCH OF THE PRESENT STATE OF THAT COUNTRY AND ITS MEANS OF DEFENCE. ILLUSTRATED WITH MAPS, AND A PORTRAIT OF SIR RALPH ABERCROMBY.

Wilson, Robert Thomas.


£600.00




1st ed., 1802. Xxi + 354 pp., frontis., port., + 3 fldg., maps partly cold., + 2 fldg., charts. Re-backed with original calf spine re-laid ; otherwise original three-quarter calf ; title-piece ; gilt tooling to panels ; blind decorative tooling to edges ; marbled boards ; 28 x 22cm. Foxing & browning in places as expected but not extensive ; support to front hinge incorporating repair to f.f.e.p., (blank) ; binding firm and o/w V.G. The author was Lieutenant Colonel of Cavalry in His Majesty's Service, received the cross of the Military Order of Maria Theresa and was knighted in 1801. He took part in many of the Napoleonic campaigns and subsequently served as governor of Gibraltar. This important First Edition work, written shortly after the events described, gives a valuable account of the British expedition to Egypt in 1801. On June 28th, 1801 the author purchased a majority in Hompseach's mounted riflemen, then serving under Sir Ralph Abercromby in the Mediterranean, and in the autumn travelled across the continent to Vienna on a mission to Lord Minto, by whom he was sent to the Austrian army in Italy. He went on to join Abercromby and landed at Aboukir Bay on March 7th, 1801. Here he took part in the action of the 13th and in the battle of Alexandria on the 21st, when Abercromby fell and was succeeded by Major-General Hutchinson for whom the author went on several missions. In July he entered Cairo with Hutchinson and the following month he was present at the siege of Alexandria and its capitulation. The author left Egypt on September 11th and returned to England via Malta and Toulon, arriving at the end of December. DNB records how "The work derived especial popularity from the charges of cruelty which it brought against Bonaparte, both towards his prisoners at Jaffa and his own soldiers at Cairo. Of these charges the emperor complained to the British government, but, receiving no satisfaction, caused a counter report to be issued by Colonel Sebastiani." This VERY SCARCE original edition is the definitive contemporary source for the British campaign against Napoleon in Egypt, (see Item No. 370 below for 1803 abridged edition.). Complete with three folding plates, highlighted in colour, and two folding plans, attractively bound in contemporary three-quarter calf with marbled boards and the contemporary calf spine re-laid.


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