Cooke's Life of Gen. R. E. Lee, 1st Edition - Inventory Number: HIS 051 / Sold
The Soldier Was Great, But the Man Himself Was Greater"
1871 First Edition of Cooke's Life of General Robert E. Lee
(LEE, Robert E.) COOKE, John Esten. A Life of Gen. Robert E. Lee. New York: D. Appleton, 1871. Thick octavo, original publisher’s deluxe binding.
First edition of this “early classic on the Southern hero,” published shortly after Lee’s death, with steel-engraved frontispiece portrait, 14 full-page illustrations and engraved portraits, and ten maps. Scarce and desirable in publisher’s deluxe sheep binding.
This important contemporary biography of Lee is by historian and novelist John Cooke who, at the outbreak of war, “became an ardent secessionist and joined Confederate forces after Virginia’s secession. Throughout the war he served as a staff officer in the Army of Northern Virginia, coming into close contact with Lee” (Encyclopedia of the American Civil War, 495). “Cooke’s biography became an early classic on the Southern hero, published shortly after Lee’s death and in the fury of the formulation of Lee mythology… Cooke’s association with Lee in the field during the last months of the war gives the work a certain usefulness, and the tone is respectful and affectionate. Strongly pro-Confederate, the biography nonetheless avoids partisan bitterness that characterizes so much of the literature from this period. From a literary viewpoint the book stands up rather well… The author examines Lee’s early life then abruptly moves to the war near Richmond, where Lee rose to prominence. Subsequent chapters examine the movements on the Chickahominy, the advance northward, Lee’s invasion of Maryland, Chancellorsville and Gettysburg, the final campaign of 1863, the last campaigns and Lee’s last days” (Eicher). Eicher 260. Wright 1177. Original owner ink signature dated 1871. Additionally a U.C.V. Postage stamp mounted inside cover. An extremely good copy, very scarce in publisher’s sheep.
Inventory Number: HIS 051 / Sold