London: Charles Gilpin, 1848.
First Edition. Hardcover. Good. 8vo, 512 pp + publisher's ads, bound in original brown cloth. Old staining to boards. loss of cloth at head of spine, mild spine slant. Internally clean, but with a section of pages (283-317) that were opened roughly and have creasing and or chipping at the top margin. Text unaffected. Penciled ownership signature dated 1859 on front free endpaper, binder's ticket (Remnant & Edmonds, London) on rear pastedown. Somerville was a British radical journalist, soldier, and promoter of free trade. After being hired by the Anti-Corn-Law League in 1842, "travelled over the entire country for much of four years, writing a prodigious number of articles for newspapers. In the spirit of a social anthropologist he described farming communities—work habits, the condition of the soil, crops, prices, rents, wages, the state of the roads, diets, dwellings, crime, discontents, religious beliefs—all laced with arguments for free trade" (ODNB). Much of his autobiography focuses on the political agitation he engaged in while in the Army and the fallout from his actions.