"A MIGHTY COMMONWEALTH, REDEEMED FROM BONDAGE, AND REJOICING IN HER REDEMPTION": MUDFORD'S WATERLOO, SPLENDID 1817 FIRST EDITION, WITH 28 EXTRAORDINARILY BEAUTIFUL HAND-COLORED AQUATINT PLATES, INCLUDING A DOUBLE-PAGE PLATE OF THE BATTLE
(NAPOLEON) MUDFORD, William. An Historical Account of the Campaign in the Netherlands, in 1815, under His Grace the Duke of Wellington, and Marshal Prince Blucher, Comprising the Battles of Ligny, Quatre Bras, and Waterloo… London: Henry Colburn, 1817. Folio (11 by 13 inches), late 19th-century three-quarter crimson morocco rebacked with original gilt-decorated spine neatly laid down, raised bands, marbled endpapers, top edge gilt, uncut. Housed in a custom cloth slipcase.
First edition of this beautifully illustrated history of the final battles against Napoleon's forces in the Netherlands, including his historic defeat at Waterloo. With double-page plate depicting the raging battle of Waterloo, engraved extra title page, a large folding map, a double-page map, and 26 full-page plates, all save the maps aquatint engravings with vivid hand-coloring. Handsomely bound by Riviere & Son.
Mudford's work chronicles in detail and unabashedly celebrates the fall of Napoleon and the victory of the Allied forces. "In this volume [Mudford] received assistance from the Duke of Wellington, to whom it was dedicated" (DNB). The frontispiece, engraved title, double-page engraving of the battle, and the "Flight of Bonaparte" were all drawn by George Cruikshank. The remaining plates were made after paintings by James Rouse. This copy with the plate "Portraits of the General Officers" (bound as frontispiece in this copy) instead of the "Waterloo, in Memory of the Heroic Deeds of Shaw"; copies are found with either, but not both, with no priority determined. The supplemental double-page "View of the City of Brussels," present only in a very few copies (and not in this copy), is not mentioned in the plate list, nor in Tooley. Abbey's copy, however, contained this plate: "the book would appear to be complete without this view… it may be a supplementary plate of which only a few copies survive" (Abbey). Tooley 336. Abbey, Life 372. Cohn, Cruikshank 580. Bookplate; plates with captions provided in pencil by a previous owner.
Light marginal foxing to text, folding map backed with linen. Plates clean and fine, coloring vivid. A handsome copy in excellent condition.