Recollections of a Town Boy at Westminster 1849-1855 by Captain F. Markham, Late Rifle Brigade, is described as, 'Personal recollections of my many peasant days of school life during the six years I was a town boy [at Westminster School'. It was published in 1903 by Edward Arnold in London and this is a first edition.
The boards are bound in red cloth with the full title embossed in gold at the top front and the author's name at the bottom. The title, author and publisher are printed in gold horizontally across the spine. The back board is plain, with only the embossed top/bottom border which is continued across the spine (in gold) and the front. The corners are bumped and worn away, while the head cap/tail are also worn and frayed in places. The edges are shelf worn with occasional dents and scuff marks. There is a 7x7mm tear in the cloth near the top back left-hand corner and some black marks on the back board. The front board has a few handling stains and the joint has a 20mm tear at the top and a smaller 5mm one a little further down.
The first endpaper has been stamped with 'Thacker, Spink and Co' and there is a faint trace of a previous owner's signature. Facing this, there is a clear signature in ink on the second paper. Both are foxed and torn at the hinge, although the reinforcement straps hold the binding tightly in place. The same is true of the back endpapers, but the hinge is more severely torn. All of the page edges are deckle edged, to the extent that the title and dedication pages are still joined by a fold at the top. Most of the front and back matter sections, as well as many of the pages, are foxed. Between pages 32-33, 48-49 and 64-65, the binding is split, although held by the reinforcement strips.
There is a black and white photographic frontispiece of 'Little Dean's Yard and the School Entrance' (from an oil painting), still protected by tracing paper. In addition to the frontispiece, the contests list twelve line drawings and reproductions, some by Markham himself. There is an additional thirty pages of 'Mr Edward Arnold's New and Popular Books' at the back of this volume. With the exception of the foxing, the faces of the pages in the body of text and illustrations are clean as well as free of annotations.