We have classified this work as history rather than biography because the author emphasises in his preface that he makes no judgments on his subject but tries to present his material in a sufficiently balanced way that his readers may reach their own judgments.
This an attractive though probably not matched set [no owner name in either of the volumes, and see also below], which would look well in any library. However, age (80 years plus) and use - generally careful, though there are a few marking in ink in Vol 1 - have reduced its rating from very good to good-plus. This is a reasonable average for the set as a whole, but Vol 2 is closer to "very good".
Vol 1. The dark green cloth boards, gilt to spine, are only very lightly rubbed, more so the back board and the foot of the spine. The plain endpapers are unmarked, but with a small bookseller sticker on the front paste-down. However, the binding is cracked front and back, with the netting visible, though with little loss of strength. Gilt top edge. The ix + 591 pp of text and index are generally clean but there are some occasional marginal marks and underlining, and more in pen than pencil. Given the length of the book, these are no more than a small nuisance. There is a tissue-guarded frontispiece plus 7 other inserted plates, all sepia gravure. No foxing.
Departures from the above in Vol 2. The boards are a little more rubbed and marked and the spine ends are lightly crushed. There is no cracking and the binding is tighter. Both endpapers carry a map of South Africa. The gilt top edge has lost its brightness and there is light foxing to the front and lower edges (but not elsewhere). Similarly, there are seven inserted sepia plates as well as the frontispiece, this time not guarded. We spotted no marginal or other markings on the xii + 592 pp of text and index - another indication that the two volumes may not have been in the same ownership.
[Headlam went on to write volumes covering Milner's life after his South African career.]
- Binding Condition: Good+
- Overall Condition: Good+
- Size: 235 x 170 x 110
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