22 June 2010
ELPHINSTONE, Mountstuart (1779-1859). An Account of the Kingdom of Caubul, and its dependencies in Persia, Tartary, and India. London: A. Strahan for Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme & Brown and J. Murray, 1815.
4o (278 x 213 mm). 14 aquatint plates, all but one hand-colored, 2 engraved maps, hand-colored in outline, including one large folding map laid-in, 3-line errata. (A few tears along folds of maps, light scattered spotting and soiling.) Contemporary half calf (rebacked, some rubbing). Provenance: Elphinstone, Carberry Tower, East Lothian, Scotland (armorial bookplate, and library shelf mark).
FIRST EDITION, with fine hand-colored aquatint plates. Elphinstone was appointed ambassador to the Afghan court of Cabul in the middle of 1808. Although unsuccessful as an envoy, he came away "stored with information, and already nursing that germ of frontier policy of which he was afterwards to be the fruitful founder and exponent;" An Account of the Kingdom of Caubul "continued to inform British policy on the north-western frontier until the 1840s" (DNB). Abbey Travel 504; Tooley 209.
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