Dundonald, Thomas, Eleventh Earl of. & Bourne, H. R. Fox.


2 vols., Richard Bentley, 1st ed., 1869. Vol. I : Xix + 416 pp. Vol. II : Xi + 400 pp. Both vols in original blue blind-decorated cloth ; gilt. 23 x 15cm. Bindings worn & rubbed at extremities ; front hinge of vol. i worn, but books are tight & sound, internally clean & crisp, & o/w V.G. Thomas Cochrane, Tenth Earl of Dundonald, was able, just prior to his death, to have published his own account of his controversial naval career in the Royal Navy, and his part in leading foreign navies to victory. His ‘Autobiography’ went through several editions during the 19th century and beyond, but its author did not live long enough to complete it. Less well-known is this account of Cochrane’s Life, recounted by his son who succeeded his father as Eleventh Earl of Dundonald, completing the unfinished work his father had begun. The 10th Earl died almost immediately after publication of the second volume of the Autobiography in 1860. His papers were then in the hands of a gentleman entrusted to complete the work. However, illness, and then death, prevented this, and the papers fell into other hands, and it took time and money to recover them. Further delay was caused by having to make three voyages out to Brazil, and finally the 11th Earl was able to place all his father’s papers in the hands of his able friend, H. R. Fox Bourne. To these papers were added the 11th Earl’s reminiscences of his father’s life, both private and public. Eight-and-a-half years later, this work, completing the Autobiography, was finally published. Given the lapse of time, it was thought sensible to briefly begin with a recapitulation of Admiral Lord Cochrane’s life, the four following chapters dealing with the five years after the Stock Exchange trial. Then follow seven chapters covering his time as C-in-C of the navies of Chile, Peru and Brazil. In even greater detail, Cochrane’s services to Greece are fully described, with a great deal of new material on Greek affairs. Eight further chapters cover a period of 30 years after Cochrane’s return from Greece ; a period spent in command of the British squadron in North American and West Indian waters, and in scientific research and mechanical experiments, designed to increase the naval power of Great Britain. There is also an account of Lord Cochrane’s restitution to the Navy List and to his official naval rank and the national honours of which he had been deprived since his banishment from England. This was begun by William IV and completed by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. The banner of the Bath, that had been stripped from him nearly 50 years earlier, was finally restored to Westminster Abbey and was allowed to float over his remains at the time of his burial. This is the only edition of this later work and is SCARCE. See Item No. 63, above.

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