London: Service & Paton, 1897. First Rackham illustrated edition. Octavo (7 5/8 x 5 inches; 194 x 128 mm.). Collating [ii], [x], 628, [2, advertisements]. Publisher's burgundy ribbed cloth. Upper board with gilt stamped title and author vignette, spine with foliate design and title lettered in gilt. Upper edge cut, others untrimmed. E5 & E6 (pp. 73-76) poorly opened with very slight loss (1/8 x 1 inch); 2D6 (p. 427/8) with small piece (7/16 x 1/2 inch) missing from blank outer margin Title-page printed in red and black. Sixteen full-page black and white illustrations, including frontispiece. Engraved bookplate of W. Kinning Crone on rear paste-down. A few very minor and insignificant marginal stains, otherwise a Near Fine copy.
"By 1898, Rackham had become the master of a repertoire of three areas of style. The first, and perhaps the style which had brought him the greater part of his income to date, was the blood-and-thunder boy's adventure story manner of... books such as The Money-Spinner and Charles O'Malley" (Hamilton). "Vivid, rollicking adventures of military life and hard-drinking, fox-hunting Irish society. A story of the Peninsular War, a medley of boisterous fun, humorous character, love-making, and martial adventure, many being good stories redressed. The great war amid which these scenes are enacted, and the romantic countries and inhabitants of Portugal, Spain, and France, afford a great variety of scenery, of adventure, and of comic and tragic incident -- the interest never flags for a moment. The humorous figure Major Monsoon is a real personage, who was actually present at occurrences that Lever could never otherwise have heard about" (Baker).
Latimore and Haskell 10. Riall 20. Hamilton 47. (Item #3736)