Two vols., 8vo, pp. vi, 424; iv, 424; some spotting or light foxing; contemporary calf, red morocco lettering-pieces on spines; rubbed, rebacked, head of spines repaired, upper cover of vol. I detached; from the library of Ian Robertson (1928–2020).
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Sketches of society and manners in Portugal. In a series of letters . . . to his brother in London.
First edition. This work is attributed to James Ferrier (b. 1734), a Scottish army officer in Portuguese service (1762–80) who assisted the Count of Lippe in the reform of the Portuguese army. The letters are dated between 1778 and 1779 and record the author’s experiences and impressions in Faro, Mértola, Beja, Evora, Elvas, Castelo Branco, Porto, Braga, and Lisbon, whence almost half of the letters are written. He is notably unrestrained in his criticism of the administration, in particular the Church (‘the effects of ecclesiastical despotism . . . have been fatal to this unhappy country’, p. 421), but also the royal court: King Pedro III ‘has very hard features, joined to a foolish look, and wears a very ill-combed wig, generally to one side; and though he never tastes wine, yet, to my mind, he has altogether very much the appearance of a stupid old guzzling Englishman, about two-thirds drunk’ (vol. II p. 121).
Provenance: Gore Townsend (1752–1826), of Honington Hall, Warwickshire, with bookplate in vol. I.
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Letters from Portugal and Spain; comprising an account of the operations of the armies under Their Excellencies Sir Arthur Wellesley and Sir John Moore, from the landing of the troops in Mondego Bay to the battle at Corunna. Illustrated with engravings by Heath, Fittler, Warren, etc. from drawings made on the spot.
First edition. Adam Neale (1779–1832) trained as a physician in Edinburgh and was admitted a licentiate of the Royal College of Physicians, London, on 25 June 1806. ‘In July 1808 Neale was appointed physician to the forces, a position he held during the Peninsular War, when he was also one of the physicians-extraordinary to the duke of Kent. In 1809, in Letters from Portugal and Spain, he published an account of the operations of the armies under Sir John Moore and Sir Arthur Wellesley, from the landing of the troops in Mondego Bay to the battle of Corunna. Neale subsequently visited Germany, Poland, Moldavia, and Turkey, where he was physician to the British embassy at Constantinople, and in 1818 he published a description of his tour in Travels through some Parts of Germany, Poland, Moldavia, and Turkey’ (Oxford DNB).
BORROW, George (Angus M. FRASER, editor).
A journey to Eastern Europe in 1844 (thirteen letters).
First edition of these letters; no. 36 of 140 copies. ‘Apart . . . from his stirring missions to Russia, Portugal and Spain in the service of the Bible Society, Borrow’s only attested foreign travelling took place in 1844. The letters assembled in this centenary collection are all those known to have survived from his correspondence at the time of his seven-month journey across Europe’ (introduction, p. 3).