THE WESTERN SCENE OF MILITARY OPERATIONS DURING THE WAR OF AUSTRIAN SUCCESSION, 1745, WITH HAND-COLORED PLATES AND FOLDING MAPS
[BRINDLEY, John]. The Theatre of the Present War in the Netherlands and upon the Rhine: Containing a Description of All the Divisions and Subdivisions, Rivers, Fortified and Other Considerable Towns, in the Ten Catholick Provinces. ISSUED WITH: An Introduction to the Art of Fortification [and] A Military Dictionary. London: J. Brindley, 1745. Thick octavo, contemporary full brown mottled calf, raised bands, elaborately gilt-decorated spine, red morocco spine label. $1100.
First edition of this detailed description of the western theater of the War of the Austrian Succession, with a folding frontispiece map of the Netherlands, 32 hand-colored plates containing 68 plans of fortifications and 17 large scale maps of the environs of the major cities, with two additional plates for the Introduction to the Art of Fortification.
“The War of the Austrian Succession fell into three theaters. To the west the Low Countries hosted, as they so often had, a set of avaricious armies that sat heavy on the land, occasionally engaging in battles, more often undertaking sieges, but most frequently simply lurking, waiting, and preying. To the east, in the region centered on Bohemia and including Saxony, Silesia, Moravia, Upper Austria, and Bavaria, a war of greater movement occurred, as armies ebbed and flowed across the land, while Prague, situated at the heart of the theater, endured three sieges and two occupations. To the south the expanse of northern Italy provided campaign grounds for the armies of no fewer than six nations… This distribution of military activity into three cockpits was no accident. Rather, it followed very neatly from the existence of the two dominating geographical divides of the era: the awkward block posed by the Rhine River and the still more forbidding partition created by the Alps” (Reed Browning). This volume describes in detail the various fortifications in the western theater, with 68 plans and 17 maps. The short Introduction to the Art of Fortification, containing explanations of the principal works in military architecture, as well as the machines and weapons used either in attacks or defenses, is followed by a military dictionary, “more copious than has hitherto appear’d, explaining all the technical terms in the science of war.” An Introduction to the Art of Fortification has a separate title page. Two pages of publisher’s advertisements at end. Armorial bookplate.
Text and plates fine, contemporary calf expertly restored . A near-fine copy.