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An Unknown Zulu War Book ?
The Scorer


Joined: 27 Nov 2006
Posts: 317
Location: Newport
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Does anyone know anything about this?

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/ZULU-BATTLE-PIECE-Isandhlwana-by-SIR-REGINALD-COUPLAND-1ST-EDN-1948-H-B-/230918622369?pt=Antiquarian_Books_UK&hash=item35c3d28ca1

Zulu Battle Piece: Isandhlwana by Sir Reginald Coupland - 1948. FIRST EDITION published by Collins, London.

The author describes the situation between whites and blacks, the great military qualities and terrifying military tactics of the Zulu warriors, and the characters of the Englishmen, soldiers and politicians.

The book is very good condition; its d.j. is torn and shabby and shows age.
Dimensions 19.8cm x 13.4cm Weight 236g unpackaged. Pages 128

Available on eBay now .... 20h 21m left 02 Feb, 2013 12:03:16 GMT
£7.99 1 bid Enter £8.49 or more
£2.20 economy delivery
Est. delivery between Fri. 8 Feb. - Mon. 11 Feb. Returns accepted

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Scorer

I remember getting that book years ago, but I seem to recall being unimpressed with it, though don't know why.

However, I was disappointed enough to bin it.

Coll
Harold Raugh


Joined: 25 May 2008
Posts: 211
Location: Heidelberg, Germany (U.S. Army)
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Gentlemen,

This book is included and annotated in my AZW bibliography:

"1163. Coupland, Sir Reginald. Zulu Battle-Piece, Isandhlwana. London: Collins, 1948; reprint (Introduction by Ian Knight), London: Tom Donovan, 1991. 144 pp., 9 plates, 4 maps. This book is considered the first “modern” study of the Battle of Isandlwana and is a relatively balanced account of the opening battle of the 1879 Anglo-Zulu War."

Good reading!
Harold
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AMB


Joined: 07 Oct 2005
Posts: 871
Location: Queensland, Australia
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Copeland? Serious academic study, since overtaken by later research, but a useful addition to one's library.

AMB
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Harold Raugh


Joined: 25 May 2008
Posts: 211
Location: Heidelberg, Germany (U.S. Army)
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Gentlemen,

From WorldCat:

Zulu battle piece, Isandhlwana.
Author: Reginald Coupland, Sir
Publisher: London, Collins, 1948.

Cheers,
Harold
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Peter Ewart


Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Posts: 1797
Location: Near Canterbury, Kent, England.
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I've had a first edition for about 20 years, with an equally shabby & foxed dust jacket. It is generally considered the first study of Isandlwana by a professional historian. His approach - including the comparative paucity of references, etc - would probably not be considered adequate in some ways today, but it is clear he went to considerable lengths to attempt to master his subject.

It appeared only a few years (allowing for the last war) after the Clements & French works of the '30s, and only months after Coupland's own visit to the battlefield in Dec 1947, where he spoke to survivors of the battle. There is a charming photo, taken on the field, on the reverse of the dj. It shows the author in three piece suit, with panama & pipe, listening to a bearded, octogenarian Zulu in greatcoat describing the battle he had fought in. (Ian Knight once pointed out to me the closed fist of this man as he indicated a distant location ahead of him, it being even more rude to point in Zulu culture than it is in ours). Several photos of the battlefield and its surroundings are included, along with maps (based on Anstey & Penrose).

Nothing substantial appears to have been published after Coupland's work until Jackson's contribution in 1965 changed just about everything & gave rise to the impetus for the next half century's publications and debates. (Neither Binns, and certainly not Furneaux, had really added anything in 1963, and by general consensus Morris's account of the battle in 1965/66 leaves much to be desired). Coupland's work is interesting, perhaps, for the consideration he gives to the question of Pulleine's or Durnford's orders to occupy the spur.

It has been reprinted in recent years, of course, but I don't know whether the photo of Coupland with the Zulu is reprinted in the newer version. Should this work feature in our libraries as an example of the historiography of 65 years ago? Definitely - it is still ahead of one or two of the much more recent efforts on this battle. It's true that this is a rather slim volume but in an overview of the battle there was less of a requirement then for all the minutiae we all seem to demand today. As someone who has an interest in the district during the decades following 1879, I find the 1940s photographs fascinating.

Coupland's publisher described him as "the foremost living authority on the history of the British Empire" - quite a claim even allowing for publisher's hype, and his track record was certainly impressive. The eBay purchaser has secured a bargain. This volume used to fetch £40/£50 before the reprint appeared, and sometimes even afterwards too.

Coll - You binned a 1st edition of Coupland??? Tell me this isn't true!!!

Peter
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Peter

Yes, it's true.

I've binned a hundred or more, books over the years.

Once read, if they are uninteresting, bad condition (including smelling due to bad storage by sellers), or replaced with reprints or better versions, then they are thrown out.

I'm a bit OCD, if something doesn't have a place, then it is off to the great library in the sky.

Coll
Peter Ewart


Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Posts: 1797
Location: Near Canterbury, Kent, England.
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Coll

I'm appalled at what you've just posted. I'd assumed you were either joking or were using the word "binned" as a euphemism for an acceptable method of disposal or dispersal. I find it astonishing that anyone who reads could simply toss away a book which still has life in it. Surely all books go through a succession of owners and anything which becomes uninteresting to you will interest someone else somewhere? All books have a different smell - part of their charm!

About 3 years ago my wife & I weeded our library (for reasons of space) and eventually released around 1,200 works, but it took us many months to gradually find a home for each item, whether via friends, family, charity shop, eBay sales or whatever. I don't think we physically discarded (can't bring myself to utter the "b" word!) a single volume. Someone, somewhere in the world, wants that very book, Coll, however obsolete it has become in your household - and I recognise they do become less wanted, as our various interests develop, wane & change over the years, and our homes are inevitably taken over. We had the most tatty, obscure and old fashioned table-tennis coaching manual from the early 1950s. Couldn't imagine it appealing to anyone - but eBay secured nearly £40 for it, as someone in South America had been searchig for it for years, as he had once played against the author! One item in my childhood soccer collection I finally let go - very poor condition indeed, water damaged. It had become very rare - sold it for an absolute fortune to someone in Bulgaria, making the loss of an old friend more bearable. We've long ago topped up the 1.200 again & so are due a much more ruthless cull shortly. If we don't recoup at least £2,000 from the few dozen which go on amazon & ebay I'll be disappointed, but the majority will also go toa good home too, for nothing.

You must have family or friends who use eBay & who wouldn't mind flogging the odd book on your behalf or even conveying them to the nearest charity shop, which now dominate our streets? You'd augment your book-buying funds and, more importantly, secure a good home for it.

None of my business really what you do you with your old books, Coll, but please think again about the bin.

Peter
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Peter

My Chief And I nearly ended up in the bin, but managed to hold on to it long enough to send to Dawn. Recently I threw out the book John Young informed me had a couple of the illustrations I was looking for, the latter I removed before binning the book itself which smelled awful. I also threw out a book from the 60s about the South Wales Borderers, yet again due to its odour.

Did give the Cancer Research shop a good few books, including a nice set of 14 Osprey uniform titles from WW2, and a small number occasionally to family.

So some were saved for another day in the care of another person.

Never ever sold my books though, just gave them away.

Coll
Peter Ewart


Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Posts: 1797
Location: Near Canterbury, Kent, England.
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Shocked, appalled, disgusted. If I said what I really felt I'd be thrown off the forum. Never had you down as a philistine, Coll.

Fancy being put off by a book's smell, of all things. Surely that's one of the first things one does on acquiring a 2nd hand book - plunge one's nose into it & sniff hard, to discover with which brand of mustiness one is about to make one's exciting acquaintance, then imagine who has read it and where it has lived? And I really thought the days of ripping illustrations out of books had long gone, such perpetrators being well beyond the pale in the civilized world. Yet you admit it - in this day & age! For God's sake Coll, pass on ALL your unwanted books - and stop ripping out the pictures!

P.
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The Scorer


Joined: 27 Nov 2006
Posts: 317
Location: Newport
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Thanks for your advice about the book - very interesting.

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rich


Joined: 01 May 2008
Posts: 897
Location: Long Island NY USA
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Fancy being put off by a book's smell, of all things. Surely that's one of the first things one does on acquiring a 2nd hand book - plunge one's nose into it & sniff hard, to discover with which brand of mustiness one is about to make one's exciting acquaintance, then imagine who has read it and where it has lived?

Books, they're great, eh? I've got this seemingly ANCIENT book on the hunt for Sir John Franklin, the fellow who disappeared with his men up in the Arctic. The book hangs by a thread, the boards are prcatically destroyed, the pages yellowed with age, the frontspiece notes '1854'. What a great book! When I hold it, I am holding a history of another time actually in my hands. heh heh I wish Kindle would go out of business....that's not the same as a physical book!!.....Wink....

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Peter Ewart


Joined: 31 Aug 2005
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Location: Near Canterbury, Kent, England.
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Spot on, Rich! The tattier, the more loved. We're now well into our library cull mentioned above - and it's heart-breaking at times, saying farewell to old friends! However, it has to be done if we're to continue at current acquisition levels, or the garden shed will soon be the only room where there are no bookshelves. There have been two or three humorous letters to The Times this week from readers involved in similar culls, following an article on Saturday by a very sad Magnus Linklater, who - as a result of down-sizing - is having to reduce his library from (I think) over 3,000 or so to just 400. Now that is serious! For us, that would be just 200 each - a sheer impossibility.

Kindle wouldn't appeal to me either, Rich. No smell, no character. The Franklin search book sounds wonderful. I seem to remember they found a couple of those frozen chaps about 150 years after that book was published, didn't they?

Coll - three books arrived today, two of them from S Africa, one with a fascinating provenance. The other had a smell which nearly knocked me out. Musty? Phwwrrr! Recognised it straight away - a cross between my copy of William Holloway's History and Antiquities of the Ancient Town and Port of Rye (1847) and Prince Ranjitsinji's Jubilee Book of Cricket (1897), with - I'm almost positive about this - just a suggestion of Sir Theodore Martin's Life of HRH The Prince Consort (1882). Only came down from my "high" after half an hour.

Peter
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Rusteze


Joined: 05 Oct 2009
Posts: 55
Location: Hampshire UK
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Absolutely right about the smells that linger in old books and waft around you as you turn the pages. Wonderful.

Some time ago I mentioned my good fortune in acquiring Henry Hook's copies of Moodie's two volumes on the British Battles in South Africa. Now theres a complex aroma for you!

It may be fanciful on my part, but a good deep sniff reveals an unmistakable odour of hot steel and pungent burning thatch, all mellowed by time and a by a dry musty aftertaste that can only be compared to the old British Museum.

Or it could just be the cat.

Steve

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Rusteze
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There is nothing like the smell of a brand new book.

However, the smell of an old, badly stored book, is rank, disgusting and fills the room or house with its odour.

If the book reeks it's gone !

Coll
An Unknown Zulu War Book ?
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