4to, pp. xvi, 348, 116, with an engraved frontispiece-map (slightly offset onto title) and twelve engraved plates; some slight foxing of plates, mostly confined to margins; contemporary diced russia-backed boards, spine gilt; extremities rubbed, spine slightly faded; from the library of Ian Robertson (1928–2020).
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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).
Neale’s work is more than an account of the military operations, as he indicates in his preface: ‘The points which have principally engaged [the author’s] attention are, the positions and operations of the armies in Portugal and Spain; occasional descriptions of the face of both countries: which descriptions, by the way, are accompanied by several drawings, traits of the characters of their inhabitants, and, as was to be expected, remarks on various occurrences connected with his own profession’ (pp. iv–v).
The subjects of the plates are: ‘Battle of Vimiera’, ‘Moorish castle at Torres Vedras’, ‘Distant view of Mafra’, ‘Castle of Punhete’, ‘Bridge over the River Nissa’, ‘The pass of Villa Velha’, ‘Bridge over the Coa River, near Almeida’, ‘Roman bridge, at Salamanca’, ‘Pass in the Sierra of Sevadon, near Molina Seca’, ‘Bridge near Constantine’, ‘The city of Lugo, with the position of the British army on the 8th of January’, and ‘Battle of Corunna’.
Provenance: Lieut.-Col. Sir Edward Baker Baker, 1st Baronet (1764–1825), with bookplate.
Alberich 911; Palau 188855 (‘Muy importante para la historia de las Invasiones Francesas y la guerra de la Independencia. Rarísima’).
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