8vo, pp. vii, , 286, ; with woodcut title vignette, 10 plates (of which 2 folding), and numerous woodcut illustrations in text; very short tear to fold of one plate; a very good copy in near-contemporary half calf with pebble-grained cloth sides, spine gilt in compartments with gilt black morocco lettering-piece in one, marbled edges and endpapers, sewn on 3 sunken cords; skilfully rebacked, rubbed and slightly sunned, bump to top-edge of upper board; printed booklabel of J.C. Lowe, St Louis, to upper pastedown.
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Helps and Hints how to protect Life and Property, with Instructions in Rifle and Pistol Shooting, &c.
First edition, with advice on riding and driving, illustrated by George and Robert Cruikshank. A marksman and inventor with an ‘inclination to self-publicity and aggrandisement’ (Credland), Charles Random de Berenger (1772–1845) in 1830 established ‘the Stadium’ or ‘British National Arena’ at Chelsea, where he encouraged ‘manly and defensive exercises, equestrian, chivalric and aquatic games, and skilful and amusing pastimes’, as detailed (or rather advertised) in the present volume.
The Baron de Berenger’s memory is marred, however, by his involvement in a fraud of the stock exchange in 1814, in which he artificially raised the value of Government stocks by falsely reporting the death of Napoleon.
Cf. Credland, ‘Charles Random, Baron de Berenger, inventor, marksman, and proprietor of the Stadium’ in Arms & Armour III, no. 2 (2006), pp. 171-191.
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