Kennedy, Sir William Robert
Sport in the Navy and Naval Yarns
Seller ID: 2138L
Westminster: Archibald Constable, 1902. First edition (pp. 317, adverts) INSCRIBED by Kennedy to his brother ‘G. G. Kennedy/ with love from/ his brother Bill/ Oct 1902’. Small octavo (19 cm) in blue publisher’s cloth, gilt titles and decorations (compass rose, ropes), bevelled edges; twenty-one ‘ripping’ yarns and reminiscences of life in the Royal Navy told by Admiral Sir William Robert Kennedy, K. C. B., (1838- 1916), arising out of the experiences of his long career as a naval officer (1851- 1901) which culminated in appointments as Commander-in-Chief of the East Indies Station and finally as C-in -C of the Nore (the North Sea fleet). The sketches include, for example, ‘Reindeer Stalking in Norway’, ‘Trout Fishing in Swedish Lakes and Rivers’, ‘Duck Shooting Near Karachi’, and ‘A Trip to Bagdad’. As these titles suggest, Kennedy’s service following the Crimean War, during which he served as a junior officer, was with a largely peacetime navy, one which might be called upon from time to time to quiet disturbances in various corners of the Empire but otherwise left ample time for reindeer hunting. Kennedy was a busy writer, too. Predating this book were his Sporting Adventures in the Pacific (1876); Sport, Travel, and Adventure in Newfoundland and the West Indies (1885); Sporting Sketches in South America (1892); and Hurrah for the Life of a Sailor (1900). In many respects, then, a sporting navy. This is a Kennedy family copy which, as the inscription on the front flyleaf implies, was originally the property of Gilbert George Kennedy (1844- 1909), one of Kennedy’s two younger brothers, a barrister and magistrate, who in his earlier years was something of a gentleman sport (He played for the first Scottish XI against England in the 1860’s). The book was evidently passed on to his youngest son, John de Navarre Kennedy, O. B. E., QC, who was a Toronto lawyer and later a distinguished county judge in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada, where this copy was discovered. Hinges with minor repairs, rubbed here and there around the edges; gilt bright and clean. A Very Good, sound, family copy of a surprisingly scarce Victorian classic. OFFERED TOGETHER WITH an original watercolour by Sir William Kennedy, “Total Loss of the Cutter- Yacht Melita on the Coast of Albania”, illustration for Kennedy’s Hurrah for the Life of a Sailor, signed by Kennedy with his initials. Measures 32 cm x 23 cm.
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