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Cooke | John Esten

A Life of Gen. Robert E. Lee

First Edition



First edition of A Life of Gen. Robert E. Lee by John Esten Cooke.

Octavo, vi, 577pp, [map], [4]. Publisher’s green pebbled cloth, title in gilt with decorative embossed illustrations on covers. Frontispiece portrait with tissue cover, light foxing to illustration. Fully illustrated with engraved plates, maps and portraits of Lee throughout his life. Spine reinforced with archival repair, solid text block. Illustrations include the surrender at Appomattox, Confederate War Councils, Siege of Fredericksburg and others. (Eicher 260)

An “early classic” on the hero of Southern independence, this work by Cooke was written shortly after the death of General Robert E. Lee in 1870. According to Eicher, the work is eulogistic and supportive of the Lee myths. From a literary standpoint, this work stands up very well. The book focuses on Lee’s early life, then jumps into the Civil War campaigns. A critique is that the author exaggerates Lee’s battlefield effectiveness and believes that “he can do no wrong.”

Additional information

Location Published

New York


D. Appleton and Company


First Edition

Date Published





Very Good


Cooke | John Esten

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John Esten Cooke