Pittsburgh: Thomas. M., 1817. First American edition. Hardcover. William Warden (1777–1849) was a British surgeon in the Royal Navy who was appointed to HMS 'Northumberland', when she was ordered to transport Napoleon to exile on St Helena. In this volume he transcribes many of the purported conversations he had with Napoleon.
Warden published the Letters in 1816. It went through 5 editions but was soon found to be of questionable value. Warden spoke little French and had to rely on a somewhat untrustworthy interpreter; Napoleon himself later disavowed much of the content. The Letters gave a favorable view of Napoleon, and caused an uproar in England.
This volume is one of the string of first American printings that were also published in Albany, Boston, New Haven, Newbern, N.C., Philadelphia and Winchester, Va.
8vo, ix, 11 - 244pp. Rather worn contemporary binding, spine and corners chipped, covers almost detached but with bright clean text, some minimal fox spotting at early pages. Shaw & Shoemaker 42818. Good overall. Item #23285