VANE, Sir Francis Patrick Fletcher. Agin the Governments. Memoirs and Adventures … Foreword by AE. London, Sampson Low, Marston & Co., .
8vo. Original cloth, spine lettered in gilt; pp. xvii, , 332, portrait frontispiece, 8 plates after photographs; binding a little darkened and marked, occasional toning and spotting internally, previous pencil bookseller's pencil notes to endpapers; a good association copy (see below).
First edition of these memoirs by an Irish aristocrat and soldier in the Boer War, who served during the Easter Uprising, and was a Pacifist. In 1913 he even considered militant support for the Suffragettes. 'In 1913, as the suffragette movement escalated, Sylvia Pankhurst's East London Federation intermittently fought the police in the East End. She appealed for an ex-army man to help them with 'drilling'. Vane responded, and in November assumed the title of 'leader' of her 'People's Army' and 'People's Training Corps'. He did little, then withdrew to Italy' (ODNB). Although he published an anti-war pamphlet in 1914 he served as major in the 9th service battalion of the Royal Munster Fusiliers in Dublin. This copy contains a loosely inserted typed letter from one Ted S. on "Naomh Eannah" 19 Kildowan Road, Goodmayes, Ilford, Essex stationery discussing Vane's life. We better quote from this letter on Vane's Dublin activities in 1916. 'Vane was in action against a republican garrison in Dublin and in the course of the Rising discovered and exposed the murder by a British officer of Francis Sheehy Skeffington, the well known Journalist and pacifist. This for Vane … was subjected to degree of persecution ranging from thinly veiled humiliation to accusations against his moral character … A strange contradiction is however the fact that members of the Irish Republican forces against whom Vane fought hold him in high esteem but again (even in Desmond Ryan's excellent book on the Easter Week Insurrection) I can only gather scanty accounts' (end of letter). - Preface is generally ascribed to George Russell, Irish writer, poet and politician.