FIRST EDITION OF KENNETH MACLEAY’S HIGHLANDERS OF SCOTLAND INSCRIBED BY QUEEN VICTORIA TO HER SON PRINCE ARTHUR
Highlanders of Scotland: Being a Series of Portraits, With Biographical and Historical Notices, Illustrative of the Principal Clans and Followings, and the Retainers of the Royal Household at Balmoral, In the Reign of Her Majesty Queen Victoria.
Macleay, Kenneth [Queen Victoria].$4,800.00
Item Number: 102385
London: Mr. [John] Mitchell, Publisher to Her Majesty, 1874.
First edition of this work, inscribed by Queen Victoria to her son Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn on the half-title page in the year of publication, “To Dear Arthur from his devoted Mother VR Balmoral Oct. 2, 1874.” Octavo, original cloth, gilt titles and tooling to the spine and front panel, all edges gilt, illustrated with 31 mounted albumen photo prints. In near fine condition, with Arthur’s armorial bookplate on front pastedown. Over the course of their seventeen-year marriage Queen Victoria and Prince Albert had nine children: Victoria (b. 1840), Albert Edward (b. 1841), Alice (b. 1843), Alfred (b. 1844), Helena (b. 1846), Louise (b. 1848), Arthur (b. 1850), Leopold (b. 1853) and Beatrice (b. 1857). Their seventh child and third son, Prince Arthur served as the Governor General of Canada, the tenth since Canadian Confederation and the only British prince to do so. In 1910 he was appointed Grand Prior of the Order of St John and held this position until 1939. He performed several royal duties throughout his lifetime, served 40 years in the British Army, and acted as the King’s, and thus the Canadian Commander-in-Chief’s, representative through the first years of the First World War. Though he retired from public life in 1928, he continued to make his presence known in the army well into the Second World War, before his death in 1942. He was Queen Victoria’s last surviving son. An exceptional association copy.
Kenneth MacLeay was born in Oban and was involved in the founding of the Royal Scottish Academy. He made his reputation with portraits painted in watercolour. These varied in size from miniatures printed on ivory of paper, to large full-length photographs of Highland Chiefs. He worked for the Royal family producing a series of watercolours of the Highland clans later published as Highlanders of Scotland (1870). He also painted Prince Albert and the Royal Family at Balmoral. Victoria (Alexandrina Victoria) was Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 20 June 1837 until her death. From 1 May 1876, she had the additional title of Empress of India. Her reign of 63 years and seven months is known as the Victorian era. It was a period of industrial, cultural, political, scientific, and military change within the United Kingdom, and was marked by a great expansion of the British Empire. After Victoria's death, her youngest daughter, Princess Beatrice, was appointed her literary executor. Beatrice transcribed and edited the diaries covering Victoria's accession onwards, and burned the originals in the process. After the death of Prince Albert and the beginning of her long period of mourning, Victoria withdrew from public view. But she did not wholly vanish from public life, for she reappeared as an author through her published accounts of the world around Balmoral, her retreat estate house in Royal Deeside, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, near the village of Crathie.