Eyre's Cabul; 1843, Third Ed.

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Authors: Lt. Vincent Eyre
Size(WxDXH): 5.25 x 1.25 x 7.75 inches
Medium: Antiquarian Book
Year: 1843
Edition: Third Edition


This is a third edition (1843) of Lieutenant Vincent Eyre’s book ‘The Military Operations at Cabul, which ended in the retreat and destruction of the British army, in January 1842. With a journal of imprisonment in Afghanistan.’ The third edition was published in the same year as the first, by John Murray, Albemarle Street, London. The book is a fascinating account taken from the diaries Eyre kept while imprisoned in Afghanistan, which he smuggled out to a friend in India.
The chapters detail the state of Afghanistan, the First Anglo-Afghan War, and the disastrous retreat of the British army. There is a lithographed fold out map detailing the cantonment area of Kabul. The appendixes in this later edition includes a dispatch from Major-General Elphinstone, the Commander in Chief in Kabul during the war.

Background History:
Major-General Sir Vincent Eyre KCSI CB (1811–1881) was an officer in the Indian Army, who saw active service in India and Afghanistan. Interestingly, the notice by the editor shows some concern that when the book was published, the inquiry into this disastrous war had not quite finished, but he felt sure they would be before a copy of the book made it to India.
The First Anglo-Afghan War has been recently documented by William Dalrymple in ‘Return of a King’ where he quotes from Eyre. Dalrymple’s synopses is: In the spring of 1839, the British invaded Afghanistan for the first time. …On the way in, the British faced little resistance. But after little more than two years, the Afghans rose in answer to the call for jihad and Afghanistan exploded into rebellion. The First Anglo-Afghan War ended in Britain’s greatest imperial disaster of the nineteenth century: an entire army of what was then the most powerful military nation in the world ambushed in the snows of the high passes, and there routed and destroyed by simply-equipped Afghan tribesmen.

The book is in very good condition. On the inside cover, is an engraved armorial bookplate of Sir Thomas Edward Winnington 4th Baronet (1817-1872). It is inscribed by him and dated 1857 (the year of the first war of independence). He was MP of Bewdley and High Sheriff of Worcestershire. The book features a contemporary green half calf and marbled paper boards. Bumped on corners and some leather damaged on top of spine, and by title. The lithographed map has short split at one fold.