The Ashanti War
THE BRACKENBURY FAMILY COPY
Published: William Blackwood Edinburgh, 1874
Stock code: 5776
2 vols., 8vo., First Edition, with a folding facsimile on blue stock and a double-page map as frontispieces, a folding map and a double-page map, and two large folding maps (one coloured in outline) in pocket at rear of second volume, some very mild occasional foxing, fore-edges dusty; original decorative cloth blocked in blind, gilt backs, uncut, covers moderately soiled (boards to volume two stained with black ink), volume one neatly rebacked with original backstrip (faded) laid down else a good, firm, sound copy of a work scarce in any condition.
This volume bears the neat contemporary signature of 'Frank Cooper' and the following holograph inscription: 'Maps drawn by my brother Harry, who was with Colonel Colley as Adjutant of Transport. Col. Colley, afterwards Sir G[eorge]. Pomeroy Colley, was killed in the fatal action of Majuba Hill in Natal fighting against the Boers'. Henry Brackenbury was Assistant Military Secretary to Wolseley; Cooper (as stated correctly above) was sometime Adjutant of Transport during the campaign. The official records were placed by Wolseley at Brackenbury's disposal 'without reservation' and augmented by the latter's private journal which he kept whilst serving at headquarters. The account of Captain Glover's expedition is taken entirely from letters between Wolseley and himself. The missions of Captains Butler and Dalrymple are described from their own letters. Frank Cooper's signature is dated 1874; the Battle of Majuba Hill took place on 27th February 1881 during the First South African War (this action was, incidentally, the last occasion on which British regimental colours were carried into battle). It would seem, therefore, that this was originally Frank Cooper's copy (until at least 1881) which then passed into the Brackenbury family. It was then in the library of Major-General Charles Booth Brackenbury (1831-1890) and bears his signature on the half-title of the second volume. The author's elder brother, he spent his career in the Royal Artillery culminating in his appointment as Director of Artillery Studies at Woolwich, from which position no-one did more to spread sound ideas throughout the service on tactical changes demanded by the advancement in weapons technology. On Charles's death this copy passed to his youngest son, Hereward Irenius Brackenbury and bears his engraved armorial bookplate on front paste-down of first volume. Hereward Brackenbury was a talented engineer and director of the prominent defence contractor Hawthorn Leslie & Co. The Brackenbury family was well represented in nearly all the British wars of the nineteenth century. THIS IS AN IMPORTANT AND DESIRABLE FAMILY COPY SHOWING MULTIPLE ASSOCIATIONS WITH THE AUTHOR OF A CLASSIC VICTORIAN CAMPAIGN MEMOIR.