London: Henry Graves and Company, 1842.
25 tinted lithographs by Louis and Charles Haghe after Atkinson. 15 x 21.5 Hardback in Good condition. Original green half-morocco binding with gilt title on cover and spine. Bumps to corners. Wear to leather and edges. Minor foxing throughout. Some paperguards are loose. Plates bright. Item #BOOKS009851I
First edition of this important publication of Dr. James Atkinson's sketches from Afghanistan and the Punjab during the First Anglo-Afghan War, an early conflict in the Great Game.
Dr. Atkinson was appointed Superintending Surgeon of the Army of the Indus, Bengal Division in 1838 and was sent with the army into Afghanistan on its ill-fated mission of regime change. Atkinson was present at the battle of Ghazni and the capture of Kabul. He was recalled to India before the British army was destroyed on its way to Jalalabad. Realizing the impossibility of controlling a country like Afghanistan he was to write, "Like Sisyphus, we have rolled up the huge stone to the top of the mountain, and if we do not keep it there, our labour will be lost"
Aktinson's sketches vividly display the topography and landscapes of this country and for the first time showed the West this unexplored land. A lesser copy sold at Sotheby's London on April 19, 2016 for $9931.