Movements of the British Legion, With Strictures on the Course of Conduct Pursued by Lieutenant-General Evans
RICHARDSON, Major [Sir John], K.S.F.
John Richardson, born 1796 in Queenston, was the first Canadian novelist to achieve an international reputation; his best-known novel, Wacousta, was in print for over a century. As a soldier he distinguished himself before he was 17 years old and as a journalist he played a significant role in the 1837 Rebellions. He was undoubtedly one of the most colourful figures in Upper Canada and one of the most obnoxious. Excitable, belligerent, haughty, and quick to take offence, his life was a succession of quarrels and controversies, one of which concerns this book. When civil war broke out in Spain between the legitimate monarch, Queen Isabella, and the pretender to the throne, Don Carlos, in 1834, Richardson enlisted in a British Auxiliary Legion, was promoted to the rank of captain, and later to that of major. After the storming of San Sebastian, he was created a Knight of Saint Ferdinand (K.S.F.) by Queen Isabella. While convalescing in London from a wound in 1836, he issued the first edition of this volume, in which he defended the Legion and its commander, General Sir De Lacy Evans, against the hostile criticism of the Tories in the House of Commons. But when Richardson heard that he had been passed over by General Evans in a list of promotions and decorations, he added a section to his book, bitterly attacking Evans as a cowardly and incompetent commander. He then reissued the book in 1837 as this volume, Movements of the British Legion with Strictures on the Course of Conduct Pursued by Lieutenant-General Evans. Never one to drop a quarrel lightly, Richardson followed this up with a second attack, The Personal Memoirs of Major Richardson as connected with the singular oppression of that officer while in Spain by Lieutenant-General Sir De Lacy Evans, published in Montreal in 1838 after Richardson had returned to Canada. The final assault was made in a satirical novel in which Evans is the thinly-disguised villianJack Brag in Spain, published serially in the early 1840s in Richardson's Brockville newspaper, The New Era. On the title page, Richardson inscribes this book for his old friend George Frederick de Rottenburg, a British Army officer who arrived in Canada in the 1830s, departing Canada in 1852. George Frederick was the son of Major-General Francis de Rottenburg, a Swiss-born officer who served in Britain's army.
- Publisher: Simpkin, Marshall, and Co., J. Macrone, and E. Wilson
- Edition: n/a
- Date Published: 1837
- Place Published: London
- ISBN: n/a
- Condition: Near fine
- Signed: No
- Dust Jacket: No
- Jacket Condition: n/a
Second Edition. To Which is added, with new views, A Continuation of the Operations from the 5th of May, 1836, to the close of March, 1837. xvi, , 330 p. 24 cm. Frontispiece, one map, 5 other lithograph plates. Bound in burgundy leather with marbled paper boards. New endpapers. Presentation copy inscribed by the author on title page.