Antiquarian Auctions

SA Auction #101 begins on 25 Aug 2022

US Auction #12 has ended

De Wet, Christiaan Rudolf

Three Years War (October 1899 to June 1902) (First edition)

"To My Fellow Subjects of the British Empire"

Published: Archibald Constable and Co, London, 1902

Edition: First

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This is a very good copy of the first English edition of one of the most remarkable books to have been written on the Anglo-Boer War. Why remarkable?

  1. While do not know the details of the translation, indexing and production processes [including map-making] or the actual month of publication, it is remarkable that the translation of a book as substantial as this should appear not more than six months after the last events it describes. Part of the reason lies in the fact that De Wet wrote the full manuscript [but not the appendixes] in the original Dutch during his three-week voyage from South Africa to Europe to drum up support for and raise funds for the people of the defeated republics.
  2. Remarkable for the author's dedication, which was "To My Fellow Subjects of the British Empire". How many other defeated leaders and generals, one might ask, would be so generous and gracious in defeat?
  3. Remarkable for the man himself. As his first chapter makes clear, he went on commando as a private burgher. He was quickly promoted to a "Vice-Commandant" (more senior than a Veld-Kornet) and then, before the end of 1899 to Vechtgeneraal (Combat General, junior only to a General). He finished the war, of course, not only as a full General but (with Botha and De la Rey) one of the three leading Generals on the Boer side, and the leading guerilla commander.

Finely woven royal-blue cloth-boards with the author's signature in gilt to the front and gilt lettering to the spine. Plain endpapers. 520 pp of prelims, including a short preface signed in facsimile, text, 3 long appendixes of meetings in May 1902 (First Meeting of the National Representatives at Vereeniging; Conference at Pretoria between the Committee of the National Representatives and Lords Kitchener and Milner; Second Meeting of the National Representatives at Vereeniging) and index. 12-fold map inserted at the back.

Now preserved in clear plastic, this complete copy is in very good overall condition despite a binding crack at the front. Signature of T R Jackson on the front paste-down. The contents are unmarked and undiscoloured. The map, too, is in fine condition.

  • Jacket Condition: [Clear plastic]
  • Binding Condition: Very Good
  • Overall Condition: Very Good
  • Size: 230 x 155 x 45; 1 kg
  • Sold By: Fontein Books
  • Contact Person: Richard Proctor-Sims
  • Country: South Africa
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Telephone: 051 773 0486/+79 546 4032
  • Preferred Payment Methods: Eft (South Africa), SWIFT (rest of world), or $ checks for US or Australian buyers
  • Trade Associations: AA Approved


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