Expedition to the West-Indies

Richard Gardiner (1723-1781), An Account of the Expedition to the West Indies, against Martinico, with the Reduction of Guadelupe, and other the Leeward Islands, Subject to the French King, 1759, 3rd ed. (Birmingham [Eng.]; London: Printed by John Baskerville, for G. Steidel, 1762) Bound with the French translation: Relation de l’expédition aux Indes occidentales…. Bequest of Archibald S. Alexander, Class of 1928. Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) Baskerville 1762e


When the British Naval officer Richard Gardiner returned from a campaign against the French colonies in 1759, he published an account of the major battles at Martinique and Guadeloupe. A second edition was issued and then, in 1762, John Baskerville (1706-1775) undertook the printing of a third edition. The English account was published along with a French translation (Baskerville’s only French book). Four unsigned copperplate engraving are included between the two and Baskerville dedicated the volume to the Queen.

Tobias George Smollett (1721-1771) reviewed the book in The Critical Review (vol. 8), “If this performance was not a little too much embroidered with quotations from the classics, and, in some places, a florid Iuxuriancy of stile, we should not fear to pronounce it one of the best pieces of this kind which have appeared since the beginning of the last Spanish war. It is indeed written with such spirit, elegance, and precision … and we hope the author’s ingenuity will be thrown into the scale, with his other military qualifications, when it comes to his turn to be promoted in the service.”