'we learn from history that we do not learn from history' (hegel)
BURNES, Sir Alexander. Cabool: Being a Personal Narrative of a Journey to, and Residence in that City, in the Years 1836, 7, and 8. London, John Murray, 1842.
8vo. Original green cloth, boards with borders blocked in blind, spine ruled in blind and lettered in gilt; pp. xii, 398, [2, erratum], 8 (publisher's catalogue dated April 1842); tinted lithographic frontispiece by Day & Haghe after L.W. Hart, one engraved plate by E. Finden after D. McClise, 5 tinted lithographs by Day & Haghe after J.M. Gonsalvez, J. Rattray et al., one lithographic plate, 2 folding lithographic plates by Day & Haghe, 2 wood-engraved plates after J.M. Gonsalvez, et al., wood-engraved diagrams and plans in the text; extremities very slightly bumped, expertly recased with new endpapers [?], occasional light spotting, a few plates with light traces of humidity, otherwise a very good copy.
First edition. In 1836, the Governor of India directed Burnes to undertake a mission to Kabul (Cabool) with the intention of opening the region to commercial concerns and to persuade the British to support Dost Mohammed's claim over Peshwar. The present work relates Burnes' experiences with the mission and offers reasons for its failure. The narrative does not relate the aftermath of the mission: Burnes returned to Kabul in 1839 with British troops and seized the city; in 1841 Burnes was murdered and the British troops, with 12,000 followers, were forced to retreat to India, during which the entire column was destroyed, bar a handful of survivors. Burnes' Cabool provides the background to this disastrous episode.
Yakushi (3rd ed.) B633a.
Provenance: From the library of the mountaineer and soldier Tony Streather (1926-2018), who had come 'to mountain climbing by chance. Staying on in the subcontinent after independence and partition between India and Pakistan, as aide-de-camp to the governor of North West Frontier Province, Streather was the last British officer serving under a Pakistani commanding officer when, in 1950, a Norwegian expedition led by the ecologist Arne Næss arrived in the region with the intention of climbing Tirich Mir (7,708m), the highest mountain in the Hindu Kush' (obituary in The Guardian). Further high-altitude exploits included joining the 1953 American Karakoram Expedition to K-2 (reaching 7,800m), and participating in the first ascent of Kangchenjunga, the third highest mountain in the world in 1955. This made him the first man ever to climb two peaks of over 25,000 feet.