A Journal of the Disasters in Affghanistan, 1841-2 - Lady Florentia Sale 1843 - John Murray, London - First Edition Let’s get this straight, Lady Florentia Sale was not someone to trifle with, in fact she would have been perfectly capable of leading the India Company into battle against the Akbar Khan, which according to many accounts would have been the better option than Elphinstone’s disastrous decision to retreat from Kabul. Lady Sale’s Journal covers the events in Kabul and the retreat as well as her nine month's captivity and eventual rescue.

Harry Flashman on Elphinstone - ’Elphy outshines them all as the greatest military idiot of our own or any other day.’

The great Flashy on Lady Sale - ‘Dear dreadful Florentia. If you’ve read my Afghan story, you know her, a raw-boned old heroine who’d ridden with the army all through that nightmare retreat over the passes from Kabul, when a force of 14,000 was whittled to almost nothing by the Dourani snipers and Khyber knives. She hadn’t shut up the whole way, damning the administration and bullying her bearers: Colin Mackenzie said it was a near thing which was more fearsome - a Ghazi leaping from the rocks yelling murder, or Lady Sale’s red nose emerging from a tent demanding to know why the water was not thoroughly boiling.’

Illustrated with small map and large folding map to the rear.

From the library of Colonel Reynolds (1863-1931), the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, a regiment that over time has been amalgamated into the Royal Irish Regiment, and who, despite the experiences of Lady Sale, were deployed to Afghanistan 150 years later, serving with distinction.
  Dubbed the soldier's wife par excellence by The Times, Florentia Sale was one of the most remarkable figures of the First Afghan War. The wife of Brigadier (Later Major-General Sir) Robert Sale, who was to die in the first Sikh War at Mudki in 1845, she had remained in Kabul with her daughter and son-in-law whilst her husband defended Jalalabad. She was forced to join the disastrous retreat from Kabul in January 1842, when she was twice wounded, and taken into captivity with a number of others by Akbar Khan. It is estimated that during the retreat ,commanded by Major General Sir William Elphinstone, over 4,500 troops and 12,000 support staff and families were lost, only one European and a few Sepoys would eventually reach Jalalabad.

‘Only he [Elphinstone] could have permitted the First Afghan War and let it develop to such ruinous defeat. It was not easy: he started with a good army, a secure position, some excellent officers, a disorganised enemy, and repeated opportunities to save the situation. But Elphy, with the touch of true genius, swept aside these obstacles with unerring precision, and out of order wrought complete chaos. We shall not, with luck, look upon his like again.’ -
The Flashman Papers.

This copy includes a publisher's notice tipped in advertising Eyre's suite of lithographs, titled
Portraits of the Cabul Prisoners: "The plates will be published in such as size as to enable purchasers to bind them up with Lieut. Eyre's Narrative, and the price will not exceed One Guinea.

Provenance: Colonel Thomas Godwin Campbell Reynolds (1863-1931) of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers (Commissioned 15th April 1882), with his armourial bookplate.

Duodecimo. pp. [2 card] [2] xvi 451 [1] 12 advertisements. In original cloth boards, covers decorated in blind, gilt block of Lady Sale on elephant to front board, spine lettered in gilt, rebacked in 1982, original cloth re-laid, new patterned endpapers, with additional card reinforcement.
  Condition: Very good, re-cased retaining original spine, sunned, some ink marks to edge of front panel, tears to folding map at rear.   Ref: 107911   Price: HK$ 4,000