COMMODORE NAPIER’S FIRSTHAND ACCOUNT, THE WAR IN SYRIA, 1842 FIRST EDITION
NAPIER, Charles. The War in Syria. London: John W. Parker, 1842. Two volumes. Small octavo, contemporary three-quarter crimson morocco, raised bands, marbled boards and endpapers, top edges gilt. $1950.
First edition of Commodore Napier’s history of the English war in Syria against Egypt, handsomely bound.
Commodore (later Admiral) Napier was a Scottish naval officer whose 60 years in the Royal Navy included service in the Napoleonic Wars, the Syrian War and the Crimean War. An innovator concerned with the development of iron ships, and an advocate of humane reform in the Royal Navy, he was also active in politics as a Liberal Member of Parliament and was probably the naval officer most widely known to the public in the early Victorian Era. “Sir Charles Napier was a man of undoubted energy and courage, but of no less eccentricity and vanity. He caused great offence to many of his brother officers by his behavior to his superior, Admiral Stopford, in the Syrian War, and was embroiled all his life in quarrels with the Admiralty” (Britannica). An example of this occurred during the British intervention in Syria: Napier reached an agreement whereby the Egyptians withdrew on condition of British recognition of Mehmet Ali as Pasha of Egypt, without first consulting his superior officers. The War in Syria includes transcriptions of numerous official documents and letters. Blackmer 1179. Engraved bookplate.
Light expert restoration to contemporary morocco. A very good copy.