New York: Sheldon & Company, (1876). First Edition. Hardcover. Octavo size, 658 pp. Near fine. Item #19102205
The first biography to be published after the death of General George Armstrong Custer (1839-1876), who famously met his end at the infamous Battle of the Little Big Horn, during which one-third of the men under his command also perished. Controversy ensued over responsibility for the disaster, which continues to this day. As Tal Luther states in "Custer High Spots": "in addition to being the first, [this work] is important as it served to stir up public controversy over the battle and the possible dereliction of Custer's ranking subordinates, Major Marcus A. Reno and Captain Frederick W. Benteen" (ibid, p. 11).
Having been one of the better-known of the Civil War generals, his life was of immense interest to those of the day. The volume is divided into chapters following his youth, army training and career, through "The Last Campaign" and closing with eulogies which fed the romanticized version of "Custer's Last Stand".
The condition of the volume is outstanding; the cloth clean with a minimum of wear, the gilt and black used for decorations bright and unrubbed, the interior clean and bright; a wonderful example of a book over 140 years old which looks almost as fresh as the day it left the bindery.
___DESCRIPTION: Bound in full green cloth, the front board with two decorative horizontal borders in black and gilt debossed around the lettering, these borders serve to divide the front board into three sections each of which have black stamped decorations, resting on top of the bottom border is a vignetter of Custer riding a galloping horse with sword raised high, the spine also with two decorative horizontal borders in black and gilt, black debossed decorations, and black and gilt lettering, the rear board with a plain, blind debossed border with a debossed decoration in the middle of Native American weapons of war set against a shield, yellow coated endpapers, tissue-guarded frontispiece being a steel engraving of Custer "as he appeared the summer of his death", four drawn maps and twelve plates of black-and-white illustrations throughout, each chapter with a small woodcut tailpiece vignette; octavo size (9.5" by 6.5"), pagination: [i-v] vi-x, -648.
___CONDITION: Near fine, the boards clean other than a few exceedingly light stray marks, the gilt and black lettering/decorations on the front board and spine bright, straight corners with minimal rubbing, a strong, square text block with solid hinges, the interior is clean and bright with no foxing, and entirely free of prior owner markings; head and tail of the spine bumped with a few very short tears to the cloth, some shelfwear to the bottom edges of the boards, one signature just beginning to spring (but remaining solidly bound in) and the frontis with a small old dampstain at the bottom corner just extending into the initial "G" of the facsimile signature (not affecting the portrait) and not affecting the pages to either side. Overall a truly spectacular example.
___CITATION: Luther, Custer High Spots, no. 1.
___POSTAGE: Please note that this is an unusually heavy volume and additional postage may apply; please inquire for details.
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