London: Myers & Co., .
First Edition. Softcover. Very good. 8vo, pp. iv, 52, in original wrappers with mounted paper label. Some creasing to wraps, light handling wear; very good. Lists 785 books offered for sale by Myers & Co., Booksellers, from the library of the widely traveled Scottish artist and war correspondent William Simpson. The catalogue is organized topically and primarily by locality, with sections on Abyssinia; Afghanistan and Balochistan; Africa; America; Arabia and Arabic; Archaeology; Egypt; Freemasonry; Greece; India & Ceylon; etc. The sellers' introduction notes that "a large proportion of the books now offered are presentation copies, containing interesting autograph letters from their authors.Others have been found in most out-of-the-way places in remote parts of the globe. All are in excellent condition and contain the book-plate of the late owner. Many of the items are of considerable rarity, and some are unique." Simpson "is widely-known known today as the war artist whose first-hand depiction of the Crimean War helped bring home the reality of that ill-managed campaign to the British public. His were the surrogate eyes of Empire in many Victorian military adventures, and he reported faithfully and, indeed, sometimes disapprovingly, on what he saw: "wherever shot and shell and ugly sword-blades are about, there he is sure to be", wrote the Glasgow Baillie of him in 1878, for Simpson was the first of the Victorian "Special Artists" whose primary focus was war, a group which has now yielded place to war correspondents and cameramen. But Simpson was more than just a War Artist — his artistic stock in trade encompassed both the military and civil achievements of a world in which the British Empire was at its peak. Simpson was a Scot and proudly independent, and although attendant upon a culture in which jingoism was the dominant paradigm, he had a rare understanding of, and empathy with, many cultures other than his own. As such, he became one of that curious breed of peripatetic Britons who thrived on desolate places and exotic peoples — a breed which included the likes of Richard Burton, Mary Kingsley, David Roberts and David Livingstone. In the process, he acquired a knowledge of religion, history, ethnography, archaeology, architecture and linguistics which marked him as a true polymath" (VictorianWeb).