"I FIRST HEARD THE NAME OF AMERICA FROM MY FATHER": ROBERT GRAVES' HISTORICAL NOVELS OF THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR
GRAVES, Robert. Sergeant Lamb of the Ninth. WITH: Proceed, Sergeant Lamb. London: Methuen & Co., (1940, 1941). Together, two volumes. Octavo, original red and green cloth, original dust jackets. $500.
First editions of Graves' pair of historical novels tracing the remarkable career of Sergeant Roger Lamb during the Revolutionary War in America, in scarce original dust jackets.
While Robert Graves is probably best known for his meticulously researched historical novels I, Claudius and Claudius the God, he wrote a number of other historical fictions that were equally well-received in their day, including this pair of novels set during the Revolutionary War. In 1914, Graves had come across Sergeant Roger Lamb's name while instructing his platoon in regimental history: Lamb and Graves both served in the Royal Welch Fusiliers. But it wasn't until 1939, and an extended stay in New Hope, Pennsylvania, that Graves began to dig into the area's history and the novel began to take shape. "Sergeant Lamb's authentic adventures were originally told in two rare books published in 1809 and 1811, when Lamb was a Chelsea Pensioner [titled An Original and Authentic Journal of Occurrences during the Late American War, from its Commencement to the Year 1783]. Mr. Graves, following the method he has used so successfully in I, Claudius, Claudius the God, and Count Belisarius, has kept as close to history as possible, but wherever the account was defective or obscure, has supplemented it with authentic material chosen from contemporary journals, dispatches and books of travel" (dust jacket). "All that readers of an historical novel can fairly ask from the author is an assurance that he has nowhere willfully falsified geography, chronology, or character, and that the information contained in it is accurate enough to add without discount to their general stock of history. I am prepared to give that assurance" (Foreword). Each volume with folding map at rear.
Books near-fine, unrestored dust jackets with a few short closed tears and very minor edge-wear, generally clean and bright. A near-fine set.