Good. Item #9474
London: Edward Arnold, 1912. One-vol. abridgement of paired volumes first published in 1906. Octavo (20.5x14x5cm); xvi + 444pp. Photo frontis showing author Hamilton with Japanese Gen. Kukoki at Battle of the Shaho; 42 additional maps, terrain sketches, and battle plans; all maps in gatefold and four colors. The volume, in fact, is cartographically dense from 25 gatefold maps and landscapes.
Burgundy linen with gilt spine and front panel stamping. Volume is discarded from the United States Army's Military Library First Corps Area holdings, with stamp on front pastedown and an open oblique card pocket on rear pastedown; otherwise no library markings. The binding shows spine fading, a smudge and white streak on front panel, corner bumping and panel edge-erosion, and fraying at both crown and foot of spine, with a top tear of about 2cm (see photos). Front hinge paper is split, but hinge is holding; overall shaken but still solid. Previous owner's signature in ink on front free endpaper. Remarkably, despite what we must presume is soldierly handling, the maps are all present, neat, and bright, without misfolds. One map only shows a closed tear in the page-width blank left margin by which it was tipped in; tear does not approach the mapping image.
Sir Ian Standish Monteith Hamilton (1853-1947) observed and advised the Japanese during the conflict. He would, two decades later, after serving against Germany in World War I, express admiration for Hitler during the Führer's rise to power, and then regret it, perhaps not forcefully enough, for the rest of his life.
The Russo-Japanese conflict was the first great war in which Asia (embodied in Japan) beat Europe (embodied in the Euro-centric portion of Nicholas II's Russia), changing the calculus for global influence then, and for two world wars to come. This volume, from the present distance, now appears naïvely—or perhaps obtusely—prescient of the tumults in the century that ensued.