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J.G. Millais


Capt. 25th. Royal Fusiliers

Published: Longmans, Green & Co., London, 1919

Edition: 4th. Imp. of the 1st. Edition

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Fourth Impression, 1919, 387 pages, with 16 full-page illustrations and portrait frontispiece of Selous. The biography of one of the most famous African big game hunters of all time, written by his close friend and fellow hunter/naturalist J.G. Millais, shortly after Selous was killed in action during World War I.

In the original blue cloth with gilt lettering on the front panel and the spine. A presentation copy from the author to Lady Marjorie Bennett. Laid down on the front pastedown is a fine original tinted drawing (14x14cms.) by Millais of a downed stag with magpies on the antlers, inscribed "The Bighead" and signed by him in pencil and dated Sept. 17th. 1886. At the top left corner of the drawing is a further vignette/remarque like drawing of a bellowing stag with hinds, measuring 6.5x4cms. The inscription to the recipient is situated on the pastedown below the tipped on drawing – "To Lady Marjorie Beckett/ With J.G. Millais’s best wishes/ May 28th. 1930". The book is further inscribed and signed on the front free endpaper – "John G. Millais/Author of this book/1930".  

Condition: The original blue cloth and the gilt lettering are both bright. There are a few small edge bumps. There is some foxing of the fore and lower edges of the book and occasional light foxing internally. The original drawing has some small abrasions below the image of the stag, not affecting the image and not a major flaw. (see images). Overall an about very good copy.  

In 1909, Millais was a founder member of the Shikar Club, a sportsclub where like-minded associates could dine and discuss their passion for hunting, especially big game hunting. He was passionate about hunting and fellow members included Selous. He was the author and illustrator of many books on Natural History including plants, birds and wild life. He is probably best known in Southern Africa for his beautiful book "A Breath From the Veldt" published in 1895, illustrated with superb full page etchings and engravings. Lady Marjorie Beckett, to whom the book is inscribed, was the wife of Sir William Gervase Beckett, 1st Baronet (14 January 1866 – 24 August 1937), who was a British banker and Conservative Member of Parliament. She was previously married to the 2nd. Earl of Feversham and was also a onetime mistress of King Edward V11. Altogether an interesting inscribed association copy with an excellent original Millais drawing. Millais presentation copies are uncommon and probably rare with the addition of an original art work.

  • Binding Condition: Very Good
  • Overall Condition: About Very Good
  • Size: 8vo.
  • Sold By: Ronald Levine - Modern First Editions
  • Contact Person: Ronald Levine
  • Country: South Africa
  • Email:
  • Telephone: 27 11 728-2044
  • Preferred Payment Methods: EFT for S.African customers and PayPal or Bank Transfer for overseas clients. I regret that I no longer accept Credit Cards..
  • Trade Associations: SABDA

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