“A MAKER OF MODERN BRITAIN”: ATLAS OF THE CAMPAIGNS OF THE FIRST DUKE OF MARLBOROUGH
[COXE, William]. Atlas to the Memoirs of John Duke of Marlborough; Containing Armorial Bearings, Fac Similes, Maps, and Military Plans. London: Printed for Longman, Hurst, et al., 1820. Small folio, original brown paper boards sympathetically rebacked, original paper label. $850.
First edition of the companion atlas volume to Coxe’s important biography of the first Duke of Marlborough, with three facsimiles, three plates of armorial insignia, one table, and 15 maps, 11 of them highlighted in color, 11 folding, and two with overlays.
John Churchill, the first Duke of Marlborough, was one of England’s greatest military heroes, “an invincible general, the first of what became the Spencer-Churchill dukes of Marlborough, and a maker of modern Britain” (Wiedhorn, 110). “To write the Life of Marlborough is to write the history of the reign of Queen Anne, and it is impossible for anyone to judge properly of this part of our annals, without a diligent perusal of this very entertaining and valuable work” (Allibone I:443). Coxe had been tutor to the Duke’s eldest son, and his memoirs “are of great value for the history of the 18th century. He was entrusted with many valuable collections of papers, and was a laborious and careful editor” (DNB). “Coxe’s writings throw more light on the history of England, from the accession of the house of Brunswick, than any other publication whatsoever” (Lowndes, 543). England’s Prime Minister Winston S. Churchill was a descendant of Marlborough and was named after the Duke’s father; he would later write a massive four-volume biography (1933-38) of his illustrious ancestor, stating, “he never rode off any field except as a victor.” Coxe’s Memoirs were first published 1818-19 in three quarto volumes. This separate atlas was published to accompany the 1820 second edition. Armorial bookplate.
Scattered light foxing to interior; endpapers renewed. Mild wear to extremities of original paper boards. A near-fine copy. Scarce.