Image of A DIPLOMAT'S MEMOIR OF 1870: Being the Account of a Balloon Escape from the Siege of Paris and a Political Mission to London and Vienna Frederick Rei ID 22765390026
 

A DIPLOMAT'S MEMOIR OF 1870: Being the Account of a Balloon Escape from the Siege of Paris and a Political Mission to London and Vienna Frederick Rei ID 22765390026

First impression of the first edition in English. Translated from the French, by his Nephew, Henry Reitlinger M.A. King's Coll., Cambridge. ***Very good in grey-green cloth-covered boards with black titles and rules to spine. Front board lightly foxed. Spine darkened. Slight exposed webbing to rear hinge. Spine tight. Head and tail of spine rubbed. Sporadic foxing to prelims. Foxing to bottom edge of text-block. Interior pages clean. Light offsetting to front and rear free endpapers. No inscriptions. Pages clean. Spine tight. No tears. No dustwrapper. 94mm x 124mm. vii prelims & 181 pages plus publisher's 32-page catalogue of General Literature & Fiction to rear. ***The Diplomat's Memoir including the ballooning escape was written seven years after Jules Verne's: Five Weeks in a Balloon. ***Contents: Translator's Note; Chapters: I. Paris Besieged: The Political Situation; II. The Departure; III. Wonders and Events of an Aerial Voyage; IV. A Change; V. The Storm; VI. The Fall; VII. An Encounter; VIII. en Route for the Frontier; IX. A Spy at Dieppe; X. Across Germany; XI. In Austria; XII. London; XIII. At the Foreign Office; XIV. Hawarden Castle. ***'At a time when Englishmen and Frenchmen are brother-in-arms, a translation of this curious and little-known narrative may be of interest. ***It is a record of a somewhat remarkable episode in a stormy and remarkable year. It describes, possibly not without the inevitable bias of one sent on a forlorn hope, the necessary refusals of Gladstone and Lord Granville to intervene in favour of France. But, as the writer quite prophetically declares, the surrender of Alsace-Lorraine and the aggrandisment of Prussia were fated to be the inevitable stumbling-block to peace in Europe, and so "not without moment" to England. This we now know only too well. 1870 was to be the prelude of 1914.' (Quote from translator's note). ***'Our poor balloon, though it was great and heavy, carrying as I have said, not less than a ton, was as light as a feather on the wings of a hurricane. It danced madly up an down, shaken and tossed about like a fragile skiff. So we rolled over this stormy sea without compass or rudder, fascinated by the grandeur and the strangeness of the light. ***How long were we in the storm? I cannot say; but suddenly the aeronaut cried, "Monsieur, we are sinking!" and the balloon, without showing any breakage to explain such an accident, sank rapidly, or rather dropped perpendicularly, like a mass. ***We were then still above the clouds, which were shedding torrents of rain on to the earth, and it was impossible for us to see through the thick night which lay cold and damp under our feet---And at a moment we were all occupied in lifting our ballast - big sacks of sand - out of the hold---***But we could not deal quickly enough with the ballast and the balloon continued to sink. It descended with a rapidity that made us shudder--- ***---The car alone had crashed against the trees, breaking them with the violence of the shock but the balloon still floated intact over the basket, pressing its whole volume to the wind. It dragged us with terrific force over the trees, which broke under the shock and at the same time held back the car entangled in the broken and twisted branches. ***It was a terrible conflict! The balloon tried to rise, but the trees held us back and the car was dragged over the trees, bounding, smashing and annihilating everything it met in its fanatic course.' (Quote from pages 43-47, Chapter V: The Storm). ***First impression of the first edition in English in its original boards. A scarce antiquarian title. Of interest to collectors and historians researching nineteenth century European history, and, also, ballooning. ***For all our books, postage is charged at cost, allowing for packaging: any shipping rates indicated on ABE are an average only: we will reduce the P & P charge where appropriate - please contact us for postal rates for heavier books and sets etc.

Price: USD 163.24

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