FIRST EDITION OF THE LIFE OF GENERAL, THE RIGHT HONOURABLE SIR DAVID BAIRD, 1832, HANDSOMELY BOUND
(BAIRD, David) [HOOK, Theodore]. The Life of General, the Right Honourable Sir David Baird, Bart. G.C.B. K.C. &c. &c. London: Richard Bentley, 1832. Two volumes. Octavo, 20th-century three-quarter red morocco, elaborately gilt-decorated spines, raised bands, marbled endpapers, top edges gilt. $750.
First edition of this biography of one of England’s most popular 19th-century military figures, with a large folding map of Egypt, handsomely bound.
This work chronicles the life of General David Baird, 1st Baronet. Baird entered the British Army in 1772 and was sent to India in 1779 as captain of the 73rd Highlanders. However, shortly after arriving there, he, and the forces to which he and his men were attached, were attacked by Hyder Ali. Many perished and he ultimately spent four years wounded and in chains. He stayed in the Army after he was finally released, fighting in the war against Tippoo Sultan, serving under Cornwallis in the Seringapatam operations, and capturing Pondicherry in 1795. By 1801, he was commanding the Indian Army, attempting to expel the French from Egypt. He later fought at the Cape of Good Hope, Buenos Aires, Copenhagen, and in the Peninsular War. His career ended in Ireland, where he was, for a time, made commander-in-chief and then a Privy Councillor. Perhaps most notably today, Baird appears as a character in the much loved Richard Sharpe novels by Bernard Cornwell, the basis for a popular British television series.
A few faint spots of foxing to text, binding quite handsome. A very nearly fine copy.