London: Service & Paton, 1897. Item #04012
"Vivid, Rollicking Adventures of Military Life and Hard-Drinking, Fox-Hunting Irish Society"
Illustrated by Arthur Rackham
[RACKHAM, Arthur, illustrator]. LEVER, Charles. Charles O'Malley. The Irish Dragoon. With Sixteen Illustrations… London: Service & Paton, 1897.
First Rackham illustrated edition.
Octavo (7 5/8 x 5 inches; 194 x 128 mm.). [ii], [x], 628, [2, advertisements] pp. Title-page printed in red and black. Sixteen full-page black and white illustrations, including frontispiece.
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; a few very minor and insignificant marginal stains, otherwise a near fine copy. Engraved bookplate of W. Kinning Crone on rear paste-down.
"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, A Guide to Historical Fiction).
Latimore and Haskell p. 10. Riall p. 20. Hamilton p. 47.