Olive Grey


Published: East Africa & Uganda Mail Press, Mombasa, 1901

Edition: 1st. and Only

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Exceedingly rare Boer War title, a fictionalised “Romance” of the Relief of Kimberley. SABIB Vol. 2, Page 442 lists only a single copy, that in the Mendelssohn Library of Parliament, but not in Mendelssohn or in Hackett. 1901. 8vo. 196 pages. A book, poorly made in Mombasa, Kenya, seemingly in the original stippled cloth covered boards with the title blind stamped on the front board. A Printer’s Note affixed to the front pastedown attests to the difficulty of publishing this book in East Africa.

This is an inscribed presentation copy from the author to General Redvers Buller, who was obviously involved in the Relief and features in this book (see one of the text images as an example), making it, in addition to its’ rarity,  an Association Copy of note. The inscription is on the verso of the front free endpaper opposite the title page and is dated 25.12.1900, although the Preface is dated 24th. May 1901.  In it the author dedicates this book to British Valour and those who fell in South Africa. Laid down above the inscription is a small glossy personised Christmas/New Year card which also features a small portrait of the author.

Condition: The boards are somewhat rubbed and marked and the rear endpapers are a little stained. Internally clean and overall about very good.

The protagonist of this book is one Terry Desmond, “better known as the Silver Grey-hound, Her Majesty’s Foreign Service Messenger, formerly Captain in the Dublin Fusiliers”. Although fictionalised, the book seems to cover in realistic detail all the events of the Relief of Mafeking.

Olive Grey There is very little information available about the author. She wrote and published several other books including The Two Fairies. She was the Editor of Kenya’s first newspaper, The East Africa and Uganda Mail. I would refer interested parties to the following article by Christine Nicholls in Old Africa who describes her as a woman of mystery who led an unusual life: http://oldafricamagazine.com/the-mystery-of-olive-grey-editor-of-kenyas-first-newspaper/ 

  • Binding Condition: Very Good
  • Overall Condition: Very Good
  • Size: 8vo.
  • Sold By: Ronald Levine - Modern First Editions
  • Contact Person: Ronald Levine
  • Country: South Africa
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Telephone: 011643 8437
  • Preferred Payment Methods: EFT for South African customers and International Bank Tranfer for customers abroad. I am unable to accept payment by credit card.
  • Trade Associations: SABDA

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