Archibald Constable, 1st ed., 1905. Xxiii + 552 pp., guarded port. frontis., + 26 other plates & 2 autograph collotypes. Green cloth ; gilt ; pink oval calf centre-piece to front cover ; t.e.g., others uncut. 22 x 15cm. Two small holes to upper joint ; foxing as usual ; o/w V.G. Stamp of ‘Principe di Candriano Caracciolo’, inscribed "Naples Nov. 1905" (Prince Giuseppe Caracciolo, 1st Prince of Candriano, 1849-1920, was a descendant of Prince and Admiral Caracciolo, executed during the Neapolitan Revolution of 1799 for treason.) Published in 1905 with a second edition the same year and a third and final edition in 1907, Sichel’s highly regarded and detailed biographical study of Lady Hamilton still remains the most important book on the subject ever printed. The author examines Emma’s life from her Cheshire origins to the splendours of the Court of Naples where she married the British Ambassador to that Court ; from her notorious love affair with Admiral Nelson, her gradual slide into poverty after Trafalgar, and lonely death in a French seaside town – all meticulously described here. Sichel carefully examines the evidence available, throws off many of the myths that began in Emma’s own lifetime, and provides a reasoned, sympathetic and well-balanced assessment of her life, character and passionate affair with Nelson. Sichel draws on important letters and manuscripts that had only come to light over the previous couple of decades, most notably those amassed by Alfred Morrison and skilfully assessed by Cordy Jeaffreson more than fifteen years earlier. A number of manuscripts are published here for the first time. Following so much inaccurate, biased and sentimental nonsense that had been written about Emma Hamilton during the previous ninety years, Sichel’s work was a breath of fresh air ; a highly detailed and painstakingly accurate study. There have been excellent accounts of Lady Hamilton written since 1905 – Mollie Hardwick, Flora Fraser and just recently, Sylvia Robinson – but arguably Sichel has never been surpassed. An interesting Association Copy from the noble family of the unfortunate Admiral Caracciolo.