Churchill Book Collector

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The Second World War

The Second World War, a full, six-volume set in the exceptionally rare full Morocco presentation binding of the British first edition commissioned by Churchill himself for the publishers

Winston S. Churchill This six-volume first edition, first printing set of The Second World War is the rare full Morocco presentation binding commissioned by Churchill himself. This is the rarest and most desirable first edition issue of Churchill's history of the epic 20th Century struggle that was so indelibly stamped by his leadership. The six British first editions were published between October 1948 and April 1954, issued in black cloth bindings stamped gilt on the spines with uniform dust jackets featuring varying color print and uniform red spine sub-titles on a grey background containing alternating rows of rampant lions and Churchill’s initials. Though truly fine copies are elusive, jacketed sets in flawed condition are not uncommon. Not so the handful of original first edition presentation sets bound in full goatskin. Frederick Woods and Richard Langworth note "One hundred sets" of the first edition, first printing "bound by Cassell in full black pebble-grain morocco for presentation." Of note, close examination of these reveals that they are not actually "black" but rather an exceptionally dark navy that appears black absent a true black contrasting background. These finely bound presentation copies are elegantly handsome, with first printing contents including original trade edition endpapers, top edge gilt, head and foot bands, gilt ruled turn-ins, and gilt author, title, and volume number spine print. One hundred such sets would render them sufficiently rare. However, we recently discovered evidence suggesting that the number of sets may have been as low as 18 and that it was not the publisher who arranged the bindings, but rather the author himself. A 25 October 1948 presentation letter by Cassell's Director Sir Newman Flower laid into one of the sets states: "Each of the three Directors of Cassells has now received six copies which Winnie had bound in leather. Whether this leather binding is going to be continued by Winston in his later vols. I don’t know. If so, I should wish you to have one of each out of my portion." Regardless of whether there were originally 100 such sets or fewer, or the fact that Churchill himself arranged the special bindings rather than the publisher, such sets are unequivocally rare and desirable.This set is magnificent, all six volumes in near fine or better condition. The bindings are nearly perfect - square, clean, bright, and tight with sharp corners, vivid spine gilt, and only incidental scuffs. The first edition contents, printed on post-war "Economy Standards" paper, proved highly prone to spotting. In this set, we find no spotting and no previous ownership marks. We note transfer browning to the perimeter of the endpapers from the leather turn-ins and minor soiling at a few points to the otherwise bright fore and bottom edges.In May 2020, Sotheby's and a New York bookseller managed to extract $17,500 USD for the only other set recently seen on the market. We offer this set without a New York City premium.Seldom, if ever, has history endowed a statesman with both singular ability to make history, and singular ability to write it. As with much of what Churchill wrote, The Second World War is not "history" in a strictly academic, objectivist sense, but rather Churchill's perspective on history. In his March 1948 introduction to the first volume, Churchill made the disclaimer, "I do not describe it as history. it is a contribution to history." Nonetheless the compelling fact remains, as stated by Churchill, "I am perhaps the only man who has passed through both the two supreme cataclysms of recorded history in high Cabinet office. I was for more than five years in this second struggle with Germany the Head of His Majesty's government. I write, therefore, from a different standpoint and with more authority than was possible in my earlier books." Churchill's work remains an iconic and vital part of the historical record. Reference: Cohen A240.4(I-VI).a, Woods/ICS A123(ba), Langworth p.264.
Joan of Arc

Joan of Arc

Winston S. Churchill This interesting little book is excerpted from Churchill's A History of the English-Speaking Peoples. On 29 December 1938, Churchill wrote to his wife regarding his initial draft about this part of his history: "I have just finished writing about Joan of Arc. I think she is the winner in the whole of French history. The leading women of these days were more forceful and remarkable than the men." Profusely illustrated, this slim volume contains 17 illustrations by the distinguished artist Lauren Ford. Though 16 of these illustrations had previously been published as black and white drawings, this is their first appearance in color. The illustration on the dust jacket front cover and frontispiece is original to this edition.This little-known edition is scarce and thus missing from many collections. Many of the copies that do come on the market are ex-library with attendant flaws and indelible. This copy is not ex-library, and unusually clean and bright, near fine in a very good dust jacket. The book is tight and square with sharp corners, bright gilt, and no appreciable soiling to the white cloth binding. The contents are clean with no spotting and no previous ownership markings. The dust jacket is bright, with an unfaded spine, and complete, apart from a neatly price-clipped upper front flap. We note moderate wear to the flap folds and hinges, most evident at the spine ends and corners. The dust jacket is protected with a removable, clear, archival cover.Reference: Cohen A279, Woods/ICS A138(j), Langworth p.334.
The River War

The River War

Winston S. Churchill This is the final printing of the bibliographically important 1933 edition of Churchill's second published book, an unusually clean near fine copy in a very good plus dust jacket. The mustard-yellow cloth binding is square, tight, and clean with sharp corners, bright spine gilt, and only trivial shelf wear to the bottom edges. The contents are clean and free of spotting and the only previous ownership mark is a small London bookshop’s sticker affixed to the lower front free endpaper recto. The text block edges show mild, uniform soiling and negligible soiling. This fifth impression dust jacket features yellow faces and spine, front cover illustrations, and print in red and dark blue. Unique to the fifth impression is the rear face advertisement for "A History of Europe". This example is complete, with no loss. Moreover, there is no appreciable spine toning, the red spine print still distinct. Moderate soiling and light wear to extremities are the only faults. Interestingly, a small bookseller's "30/ - Net" sticker is placed over the original "21S. NET" price. Bibliographer Ronald Cohen notes that copies of the fifth printing "were bound and sold gradually". (Vol. I, A2.4.e, p56) The sticker and price exactly matches several we have seen on other examples of this printing. The jacket is protected beneath a removable, clear, archival cover. Originally published in 1899, The River War recounts Churchill's experiences and reflections concerning British involvement in the Sudan. In 1883, Mahdist forces of messianic leader Mohammed Ahmed overwhelmed the Egyptian army of British commander William Hicks and Britain ordered withdrawal from the Sudan. In 1885, General Gordon famously lost his life in a doomed defense of Khartoum, where he had been sent to lead evacuation of Egyptian forces. General Kitchener reoccupied the Sudan in 1898. With him was a very young Winston Churchill, who participated in "the last great British cavalry charge" during the battle of Omdurman in September 1898, where the Mahdist forces were decisively defeated. Writing about the British campaign in the Sudan, Churchill - a young officer in a colonial British army - is unusually sympathetic to the Mahdist forces and critical of Imperial cynicism and cruelty. This work offers us the candid perspective of the future great man of the 20th century from the distinctly 19th century battlefields where Churchill learned to write and earned his early fame. The text is arresting, insightful, powerfully descriptive, and of enduring relevance. In 1933, a so-called "Second Cheap Edition" was made from plates of the 1902 edition with a bibliographically significant new introduction by the author explaining that "A generation has grown up which knows little of why we are in Egypt and the Sudan." There were ultimately five printings of this edition with at least seven different dust jackets issued (at least two for the 1933 second printing and two for this final, 1951 printing). This fifth printing in the 1951 issue dust jacket was the last issue of this edition in Churchill's lifetime, issued during his second and final premiership. The 1951 dust jacket features the same front face illustration and spine as the 1949 dust jacket, but with an entirely different rear face and some differences to the front flap. Reference: Cohen A2.4.e, Woods/ICS A2(da.5), Langworth p.33
My Early Life: A Roving Commission

My Early Life: A Roving Commission, a wartime reprint with interesting provenance

Winston S. Churchill This is Churchill's extremely popular autobiography, covering the years from his birth in 1874 to his first few years in Parliament. First published in 1930, this is a 1943 wartime reprint (from first edition plates) by Macmillan, and is compelling both in condition and provenance. Per an elaborate printed grey plate affixed to the front pastedown, this copy was a gift from British industrialist Alexander Duckham to a customer in 1943. The presentation plate reads: "Written when he certainly had no conception of becoming 'Pater Patriae' I feel that Mr. Churchill’s autobiography up to 1901 will be an appropriate and acceptable token of goodwill to our customers on our 44th birthday anniversary, November 1943." The plate is facsimile signed "Alexander Duckham". Alexander Duckham (1877-1945) was an English chemist, businessman, and early aviation pioneer who in 1899 founded Alexander Duckham & Co. A blender of oils, Duckhams was the second largest of the independent UK blenders after Castrol. By the mid-1930s it was sold in over thirty countries, mainly in Europe and British overseas territories. After the Second World War and Duckham’s death, motoring for the masses became a reality and Duckham's became a household name for engine oil. (Wagner, The Duckham's Story: A Century of Fighting Friction)Regarding this particular edition, Macmillan acquired the rights to several Churchill books after Thornton Butterworth went under in 1940. During the war years, these desirable reprints were published by Macmillan, bound in dark blue cloth and wrapped in attractive tan dust jackets. Thus this edition, reprinted from the first edition plates. This third Macmillan printing of 1943 is very good plus in a very good plus dust jacket. The blue cloth binding is tight and clean with bright spine gilt, minor wear to extremities, a faint vertical spine dimple, and a minor forward lean. The contents are bright, clean, and crisp. Trivial spotting appears confined to endpapers and page edges. The dust jacket is complete, with light wear to extremities, just a little soiling, and a mildly toned spine. The dust jacket is protected in a removable, clear, archival cover. One can hardly ask for more adventurous content than found in the pages of My Early Life. These were momentous and formative years for Churchill, including his time as a war correspondent and cavalry officer in theatres as varied as Cuba, northwest India, and sub-Saharan and southern Africa. This time compassed a wide range of experiences in Churchill’s life. Not only was he developing as an author, publishing his first books, and making his first lecture tour of North America, but this was also the time of his capture and daring escape during the Boer War, which made him a celebrity and helped launch his political career. Churchill would take his first seat in Parliament only weeks after the end of Queen Victoria's reign. My Early Life remains one of the most popular and widely read of all Churchill's books. And for good reason, as the work certainly ranks among the most charming and accessible of his many books. An original 1930 review likened it to a "beaker of Champagne." That effervescent charm endures; a more recent writer called it "a racy, humorous, self-deprecating classic of autobiography." Churchill takes some liberties with facts and perhaps unduly lightens or over-simplifies certain events, but this is eminently forgivable and in keeping with the wit, pace, and engaging style that characterize the book. Reference: Cohen A91.6.c, Woods/ICS A37(d.3), Langworth p.139.
A Speech by The Prime Minister The Right Honourable Winston Churchill in the House of Commons August 20th

A Speech by The Prime Minister The Right Honourable Winston Churchill in the House of Commons August 20th, 1940

Winston S. Churchill This is an unusually well-preserved first edition of one of Churchill's most famous speeches. Churchill's speech to Parliament of August 20th, 1940 was occasioned in part by the Battle of Britain and famously honored the RAF pilots who almost single-handedly prevented Nazi invasion of England. Printed deep red on light gray paper wraps and wire stitched, this speech pamphlet measures 9.75 inches x 6 inches (24.8 x 15.2 cm) and is 16 pages in length. Given the fragility of the edition, most copies understandably suffer from significant wear, soiling, tanning, and spotting. This is a very good plus copy, uncommonly crisp and unworn. The gray wraps are complete and firmly attached with no appreciable wear and, notably, no creasing. The pamphlet retains a notably unread and unhandled feel. Both original binding staples are intact and secure with only mild surface rust not significant enough to cause any staining to the adjacent paper. The contents are likewise uncommonly bright and clean with no internal spotting or previous ownership marks. What prevents our grading this copy as near fine or better is modest spotting and toning to the covers, most evident to the bottom edge of the front cover. The pamphlet is protected within a clear, removable, archival sleeve. In his speech, Churchill encapsulated and immortalized the struggle when he uttered the words: "Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few." The famous words came to Churchill not as he was writing the speech, but rather spontaneously four days earlier. On 16 August Churchill was visiting the Operations Room of No. 11 Group, Fighter Command – "the nerve centre from which he could follow the course of the whole air battle" - when both Chatham and Kenley were hit by a German air attack. Churchill’s indispensable military advisor, Ismay, was with Churchill and recalled " at one moment every single squadron in the Group was engaged; there was nothing in reserve, and the map table showed new waves of attackers crossing the coast As the evening closed in, the fighting died down, and we left by car for Chequers. Churchill’s first words were: ‘Don’t speak to me; I have never been so moved.’ After about five minutes he leaned forward and said, ‘Never in the field of human conflict has so much been owed by so many to so few.’ The words burned into my brain and I repeated them to my wife when I got home." (Gilbert, Vol. VI, p.736 & Ismay, The Memoirs of General Lord Ismay, pp.181-2) "During the weekend at Chequers, and throughout Monday August 19, Churchill worked on his coming Parliamentary speech." He did not finish preparing his speech until the morning of August 20. (Gilbert, Vol. VI, p.740) That afternoon, the rest of the world heard the words an emotionally overwhelmed Churchill had uttered privately to Ismay four days earlier. Though Churchill spoke for nearly fifty minutes, giving a survey of the ‘dark, wide field’, his phrase in honor of the heroism of British fighter pilots led this speech to become known as "The Few". Of Churchill, Edward R. Murrow said: "He mobilized the English language and sent it into battle." This speech, from the early and fraught months of Churchill’s wartime premiership, typifies the soaring and defiant oratory that sustained his countrymen and inspired the free world. It also demonstrates why, when Churchill was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1953, it was partly " for brilliant oratory in defending exalted human values." The famous bibliographic reference Printing and the Mind of Man, which surveys the impact of the printed word on Western Civilization, singles out this edition of this speech. Reference: Cohen A131.1, Woods A60(a), Printing and the Mind of Man (PMM) 424.
A History of the English-Speaking Peoples

A History of the English-Speaking Peoples, Volume II: The New World, #30 of 100 copies that journeyed across the Atlantic in 1957 aboard the Mayflower II

Winston S. Churchill This is the British first edition, first printing of the second volume of Churchill’s sweeping history and last great work, A History of the English-Speaking Peoples. Rending this copy special is the elaborately illustrated and hand-numbered bookplate affixed to the front pastedown testifying that "This is number 30 of one hundred copies which were carried from the Old World to the New World in Mayflower II." The story is an interesting convergence of history, literature, and publisher promotion. Volume II of Churchill’s history is subtitled The New World. Spanning 1485 to 1688, it covers the period during which "The New World of the American continent was discovered and settled by European adventure." The volume’s 1956 publication aligned fortuitously with another recollection of the Old World’s engagement of the New – the improbable journey of the Mayflower II. Reportedly in 1942, WWII veteran Warwick Charlton (1918-2002) - who served during the Second World War on Montgomery's staff - conceived the idea of building an exact replica of the Mayflower and sailing her across the Atlantic as a gift to the United States. After the War, Charlton resumed a career in journalism, but he also engaged an expert shipbuilder in Devon and persuaded a few hundred industrial, commercial, and individual sponsors in Britain, as well as the Mayflower Trucking Company in America, to finance his ship-building project. The ship set sail from Brixham on 20 April 1957. No British leader was more emblematic of Anglo-American comity than Churchill, and no work of his was better suited to the undertaking than Volume II of his A History of the English-Speaking Peoples. Hence 100 copies undertook the voyage with Charlton aboard Mayflower II. After a voyage of 54 days, Mayflower II arrived at Plymouth, Massachusetts, where it was greeted by Vice President Richard Nixon and then-Massachusetts Senator John F. Kennedy. The ship continues to reside in Massachusetts, where it began an extensive restoration in 2016 in advance of the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrims’ arrival at Plymouth.Not unlike Mayflower II, Churchill’s A History of the English-Speaking Peoples was grand in conception. And it took even longer to come to fruition. Over the course of four volumes published between 1956 and 1958, the work traces a great historical arc from Roman Britain through the end of the Nineteenth Century, ending with the death of Queen Victoria. The work was two decades in the making. Churchill began A History of the English-Speaking Peoples in the 1930s, completing a draft of "about half a million words", which was set aside when Churchill returned to the Admiralty and to war in September 1939.The work was fittingly interrupted by an unprecedented alliance among the English-speaking peoples during the Second World War - an alliance Churchill personally did much to cultivate, cement, and sustain.The interruption continued as Churchill bent his literary efforts to his six-volume history, The Second World War, and then his remaining political energies to his second and final premiership from 1951-1955.This first edition, first printing of Volume II is near fine in a very good plus dust jacket. The red cloth binding is square, clean, bright, and tight with sharp corners and only minor shelf wear to extremities. The contents show no spotting, no previous ownership marks, clean page edges, and strong, only mildly sunned red topstain. The elaborately illustrated and hand-numbered Mayflower II bookplate affixed to the front pastedown is clean and bright, marred only by mild browning at the edges from the glue used to affix it. The dust jacket is complete, mildly spine-toned with light wear to extremities. The jacket is protected beneath a removable, clear, archival cover. Reference: Cohen A267.1(II).a, Woods/ICS A138(aa), Langworth p.315.
The River War

The River War, An Historical Account of the Reconquest of the Soudan, the personal copy of Princess Alexandra of Wales, acquired new from Hatchards of London before she became Queen Consort of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions upon the accession of her husband, King Edward VII in 1901

Winston S. Churchill The second published book of then-24-year-old Winston Churchill recounts his personal experiences during British suppression of a messianic Islamic revolt in the Sudan. This first edition, first printing, two-volume set belonged to the British Royal family and is remarkable both in provenance and preservation. Condition is extraordinary - unread, near fine plus, almost never seen thus. The bindings are improbably clean, beautifully bright, and tight, with superlative shelf presentation. We can report only trivial shelf wear to extremities and minor wrinkling to spine ends. The contents are virginal, featuring uncut signatures throughout both volumes. The sole defect to splendidly bright and untouched contents is spotting, light and intermittent throughout and visible on the page edges. A magnificent full navy morocco slipcase is deferential in color and design to the publisher’s bindings. Both illustrations – the Mahdi’s tomb on twin, faux spines and the gunboat on the front cover - are recreated from new artwork and dies, as is Churchill’s facsimile signature. Within the slipcase, each book is housed in its own cloth chemise, each gilt stamped with volume number and Churchill’s facsimile signature. Although condition and presentation are astonishing, they are secondary to provenance. Each front pastedown features the personal bookplate of Alexandra, Princess of Wales (1844-1925). After the death of Queen Victoria in January 1901, just 14 months after The River War was published, Alexandra became Queen Consort of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions upon the accession of her husband, King Edward VII (1841-1910). Thirty-four years before, she had married Edward with Queen Victoria’s approval, whom she "effortlessly charmed" and who was eager to curb her son’s "wayward inclinations" via marriage. Alexandra bore six children, the second of whom became King George V. Despite a limp and progressive deafness, she was regarded as beautiful and credited "for her part in developing one of the most important roles of the modern monarchy, the patronage and encouragement of charitable institutions and societies." (ODNB) Princess Alexandra’s bookplate precedes her husband’s 1901 accession and is thus contemporary to purchase of the book. Her bookplate’s left coat of arms is that of the heir apparent; three points at the head of the coat of arms distinguish him thus. Her bookplate’s right coat of arms is that of the Danish Royal House from 1819-1903. Alexandra’s father became King Christian IX the year she married the Prince of Wales (1863). A florid "A" at the bottom of the bookplate is self-explanatory, styled similarly to her father’s cypher. The books were doubtless acquired for Alexandra via Hatchards, as evidenced by "Hatchards, Piccadilly" printed at the lower left. Hatchards is London’s oldest bookshop, established in 1797, a mainstay of Piccadilly for more than two centuries, counting among its customers the royal households of Britain and Europe. These books, nearly pristine and unread, were not only purchased new by the Royal family, but spent most of their life in Royal stewardship. This is evidenced by the second heraldic bookplate found on each front free endpaper. These plates, each printed "Gloucester", are those of HRH Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester (1900-1974), grandson of Alexandra, the fourth child and third son of King George V and Queen Mary, and uncle to Queen Elizabeth II. Prince Henry was the first son of a reigning monarch to attend a regular public school and the only member of the Royal family to hold the post of governor-general of Australia. Interesting to note is the fact that "Early in 1965, while returning to Barnwell from Sir Winston Churchill's funeral, the duke overturned the Rolls-Royce he was driving. He was not seriously injured in the accident, but his health gradually deteriorated from then onwards." (ODNB) Reference: Cohen A2.1.b, Woods/ICS A2(a.1), Langworth p.29.
The Story of the Malakand Field Force: An Episode of Frontier War

The Story of the Malakand Field Force: An Episode of Frontier War

Winston S. Churchill This is the first printing of the Silver Library edition of Churchill's first book. The Story of the Malakand Field Force recounts Churchill's experiences while attached to Sir Bindon Blood's punitive expedition on the Northwest Frontier of India in 1897. Publication of the first edition of 1898 was arranged by Churchill's uncle while the author was still in India, resulting in numerous spelling and detail errors. Churchill was incensed by the errors and acted with haste to address them. Hence later states of the first edition bear errata slips. In part because of the errors in the first edition which so vexed Churchill, the publisher also issued a second edition less than a year after the first in January 1899. This Silver Library edition was the first to incorporate the author's corrections in the text, making this an important and highly collectable edition. Unfortunately, the maroon boards proved highly susceptible to fading and wear, the paper easily browned and became brittle, and the binding often cracked. This first Silver Library edition, first printing - one of just 1,440 copies – is in better than very good condition. The binding is clean and tight with sharp corners and only light shelf wear to extremities. Shelf presentation is quite good, the cloth showing only the slightest, uniform toning and a trivial forward lean. The contents are unusually bright for the edition, with the customary age-toning only apparent at the perimeter blank margins of the pages. Even the page edges are atypically clean. We find no previous ownership marks. A hint of spotting appears confined to the prelims. The distinctive swan and ship endpapers are intact, as are the frontispiece, tissue guard, and maps. We note minor creasing to the upper corners spanning the dedication through p.8 and some wrinkling of the frontispiece tissue guard. When The Story of the Malakand Field Force was written and published, Churchill was a young cavalry officer still serving in India. While he had successfully applied his pen as a war correspondent - indeed the book is based on his dispatches to the Daily Telegraph and the Pioneer Mail - this was his first book-length work. The young Churchill was motivated by a combination of pique and ambition. He was vexed that his Daily Telegraph columns were to be published unsigned. On 25 October 1897 Churchill wrote to his mother: ".I had written them with the design. of bringing my personality before the electorate." Two weeks later, his resolve to write a book firming, Churchill again wrote to his mother: ".It is a great undertaking but if carried out will yield substantial results in every way, financially, politically, and even, though do I care a damn, militarily." Having invested his ambition in this first book, he clearly labored over it: "I have discovered a great power of application which I did not think I possessed. For two months I have worked not less than five hours a day." The finished manuscript was sent to his mother on the last day of 1897 and published on 14 March of 1898. Dozens of books would follow this first over the next six decades, helping Churchill earn his livelihood, his place in history, and a Nobel Prize in Literature. Reference: Cohen A1.3.a, Woods/ICS A1(ba.1), Langworth p.20.
The People's Rights Housed in a morocco Solander case

The People’s Rights Housed in a morocco Solander case

Winston S. Churchill This is a collector-worthy copy of the first edition, first state of this early collection of Churchill's speeches, housed in a handsome full green morocco Solander case. The People's Rights was most commonly issued in an exceptionally perishable form, in vividly hued, thin, yellow-orange paper wraps (with a halftone photo of Churchill on the cover) and contents printed on cheap, pulp paper. Consequently, few copies survive, and significant wear, losses, and general deterioration are common to those copies that endure. Given the inherent fragility of the edition, this copy is quite well preserved, being both an exceptionally clean, bright example and substantially complete. This copy is the first state of the first edition, confirmed by an Index rather than a second Appendix at pages 149-152 and a pagination error at p.71. The illustrated wraps retain strikingly vivid color and show no significant soiling. Despite some creasing, both front and rear wraps are attached and largely complete. The front wrap shows a shallow chip at the upper fore edge and fractional loss to the corners. The rear wrap shows modest loss to the fore edge corners and a tiny hole at the upper left center, not affecting any text. The spine is especially good, with only fractional loss at the lower front hinge, unfaded color, and all print both intact and clearly legible. The contents are toned, as inevitable with the cheap pulp paper, but both less toned and less brittle than is typical. We find no previous ownership marks and spotting is confined to the half-title, title page, and the final page of the Index. The dark green goatskin Solander case features raised spine bands, blind-stamped compartments, and twin dark red spine labels gilt-bordered and printed. Condition of the Solander case is fine, with no appreciable wear or defects noted. In 1904, Churchill quit the Conservative Party and joined the Liberals, beginning a dynamic chapter in his political career that saw him champion progressive causes and be branded a traitor to his class. In late 1909 when The People's Rights was published, Winston Churchill was a powerful political force and a member of the Cabinet. From December 3-11, 1909 Churchill was on the campaign trail for the Liberals. The People's Rights is a distillation of these nine days of speeches, criticizing the House of Lords (which had rejected the Liberal Government's budget, thus precipitating the campaign) and championing Free Trade, a graduated income tax, luxury tax, and surtaxes on unearned income. Churchill's efforts were not wasted; the election gave the Liberals a slim majority and passage of their budget. The first edition is not only an important work, but also the only edition published in Churchill's lifetime. Reference: Cohen A31.2.a, Woods/ICS A16(aa), Langworth p.97
The River War

The River War, An Historical Account of the Reconquest of the Soudan Each volume housed in its own full morocco Solander case

Winston S. Churchill This is the first edition, first printing of Churchill's second published work, an unrestored, fully intact two-volume set in the striking, original bindings, each volume housed in a full navy morocco Solander case. Condition of this set is very good. Often the original bindings are broken and subsequently repaired, owing to the weight of the massive text blocks. In this case the publisher’s illustrated cloth bindings remain intact. The cloth is lightly scuffed and blemished, with only modest superficial wear showing, the sole exception being an irregular patch of discoloration of the cloth, likely from brief contact with moisture, at the upper left corner of the blank Vol. II rear cover. The contents are quite respectable for the edition. The Vol. I xi-xiv and xvii-xx signatures remain uncut. The original black endpapers are intact, as are all of the extensive maps and plans, as well as the frontispiece portraits and tissue guards. Spotting, common in the edition, is intermittent throughout. The sole previous ownership mark – in pencil which we have chosen not to erase - is a three-line "Xmas 1899" gift inscription on the Vol. I. half title. The publisher’s 32-page catalogue bound in at the end of Volume I is of note. Churchill’s bibliographer, Ronald Cohen, (See: A2, Vol. I, p.35) states "In most copies which contain a catalogue, it will be dated 11/99", noting that "The catalogue in the second-state copy in the Library of Congress is designated "5000/10/99". This copy’s rear catalogue is also dated "5000/10/99" – the only such copy we have personally noted. Each book is protected within its own full navy goatskin Solander case with rounded spine, gilt framed and decorated spine bands, and blue felt-lined interior. Each case cover is decorated with a gilt-stamped reproduction of the gunboat illustration from the original bindings. Condition of the cases is near fine, one case with minor bumps to the upper corners. The Mahdi, Mohammed Ahmed, was a messianic Islamic leader in central and northern Sudan in the final decades of the 19th century. In 1885, General Gordon famously lost his life in a doomed defense of the capitol, Khartoum. Though the Mahdi died in 1895, his theocracy continued until 1898, when General Kitchener reoccupied the Sudan. With Kitchener was a young Winston Churchill, who participated in decisive defeat of the Mahdist forces and the last "genuine" cavalry charge of the British army during the battle of Omdurman in September 1898. In this book, Churchill - a young officer in a colonial British army - is unusually sympathetic to the Mahdist forces and critical of Imperial cynicism and cruelty. This work offers the young Churchill’s candid perspective from the distinctly 19th century battlefields where he learned to write and earned his early fame long before he became a 20th century icon. This first edition is not only compellingly written, but also beautiful and bibliographically important. The two large, lavish volumes are decorated with gilt representations of the Mahdi's tomb on the spines and a gunboat on the front covers. Each volume is printed on heavy paper with a profusion of illustrations, maps, and plans. They are also scarce; there were 2,000 copies of this first edition, first printing. Moreover, this is one of the few Churchill books for which there was no concurrent U.S. first edition. Bibliographically it is notable that the first edition is the only unabridged edition to this day. In 1902 Churchill (then a new Member of Parliament) revised and abridged his text, excising much of his criticism of Kitchener for political reasons.All subsequent editions of The River War are based on this 1902 abridged and revised text. Reference: Cohen A2.1.b, Woods/ICS A2(a.1), Langworth p.29
The River War

The River War, An Historical Account of the Reconquest of the Soudan

Winston S. Churchill This is the first edition, first printing of Churchill's second published work, an unrestored, fully intact set in the striking, original bindings, both volumes housed together in a navy leather slipcase. This set approaches very good condition. Often the original bindings are broken and subsequently repaired, owing to the weight of the massive text blocks. In this case, the publisher's illustrated cloth bindings are scuffed with superficial wear and mild, even dulling of the spines. Nonetheless, the bindings remain tight. The spine ends are wrinkled but shelf presentation is quite respectable nonetheless. The contents are quite good for the edition. The original black endpapers are intact, as are all of the extensive maps and plans, as well as the frontispiece portraits and tissue guards. Spotting, common in the edition, is quite light, intermittent but never significant or obtrusive. Content is of note for the lack of a publisher’s catalogue. Volume I of first edition, first printing sets often contains a publisher s catalogue bound in at the rear. Churchill s bibliographer, Ron Cohen, speculates that copies lacking the catalogue were likely "destined for sale in either the American or other overseas markets." This set lacks the rear catalogue, but nonetheless was evidently sold in Britain. Identical heraldic bookplates of Sir Edward Penton (1875-1967) affixed to each front pastedown are the only previous ownership marks. The bookplates and uniform appearance of the volumes strongly suggest that these two volumes are a lifelong, mated set rather than a "married" pair. Both volumes are housed in a navy leather-covered slipcase with the title, author, and Marlborough arms stamped in gilt on the side. Condition of the slipcase is fine, clean, bright, and fully intact. The Mahdi, Mohammed Ahmed, was a messianic Islamic leader in central and northern Sudan in the final decades of the 19th century. In 1885, General Gordon famously lost his life in a doomed defense of the capitol, Khartoum. Though the Mahdi died in 1895, his theocracy continued until 1898, when General Kitchener reoccupied the Sudan. With Kitchener was a young Winston Churchill, who participated in decisive defeat of the Mahdist forces and the last "genuine" cavalry charge of the British army during the battle of Omdurman in September 1898. In this book, Churchill - a young officer in a colonial British army - is unusually sympathetic to the Mahdist forces and critical of Imperial cynicism and cruelty. This work offers the young Churchill’s candid perspective from the distinctly 19th century battlefields where he learned to write and earned his early fame long before he became a 20th century icon. This first edition is not only compellingly written, but also beautiful and bibliographically important. The two large, lavish volumes are decorated with gilt representations of the Mahdi's tomb on the spines and a gunboat on the front covers. Each volume is printed on heavy paper with a profusion of illustrations, maps, and plans. They are also scarce; there were 2,000 copies of this first edition, first printing. Moreover, this is one of the few Churchill books for which there was no concurrent U.S. first edition. Bibliographically it is notable that the first edition is the only unabridged edition to this day. In 1902 Churchill (then a new Member of Parliament) revised and abridged his text, excising much of his criticism of Kitchener for political reasons.All subsequent editions of The River War are based on this 1902 abridged and revised text. Reference: Cohen A2.1.b, Woods/ICS A2(a.1), Langworth p.29.
Liberalism and the Social Problem

Liberalism and the Social Problem

Winston S. Churchill This is the first edition, first printing of Churchill's third book of speeches (following Mr. Brodrick's Army and For Free Trade). Liberalism and the Social Problem dates from Churchill's period as an ardent reformer and a dynamic young political force in the Liberal Party. The British first edition is bound in a deep red cloth stamped in gilt on the spine and bearing Churchill's gilt-stamped facsimile signature on the front cover. The binding is attractive, but proved fragile, the smooth, thin cloth susceptible to wear and the spine quite susceptible to toning and dulling. Condition of this copy approaches very good. The dark red cloth binding is square and tight, respectable despite typical toning of the spine. Wear is modest, primarily confined to extremities, including wrinkling at the spine ends. The contents are bright internally, spotting only light and occasional, primarily confined to pastedowns, prelims, and the otherwise clean page edges. Previous ownership marks are a small, decorative bookplate affixed to the front pastedown and a name in faded ink on the facing front free endpaper recto dated "3/2/11" just above an inked number "1152" – ostensibly a previous owner’s personal library reference. The binding is protected with a clear, removable mylar cover. In 1904, Churchill quit the Conservative Party and joined the Liberals, beginning a dynamic chapter in his political career that saw him champion progressive causes and be branded a traitor to his class. In 1909, when Liberalism and the Social Problem was published, Churchill, in his mid-30s, had just been promoted to a Cabinet position. His 21 speeches in this volume address a broad range of social issues still topical today, with the young Churchill trying to chart a progressive course between reactionary conservatism and radical socialism. This was a balance the Liberal Party ultimately failed to sustain; Churchill would remain a member of the Liberal Party until their ruinous electoral defeat in the 1922 General Election. Churchill rejoined the Conservatives in 1924. Reference: Cohen A29.1.a, Woods/ICS A15(a), Langworth p.92.
Savrola Housed in a full morocco Solander case

Savrola Housed in a full morocco Solander case

Winston S. Churchill This is the U.S. and true first edition of Churchill's third published book and only novel. Of note, this is one of the few Churchill books for which the U.S. edition is the true first edition. In fact, the British first edition was issued from American plates. This copy is in very good plus condition, housed in a full green morocco Solander case. The publisher’s original blue cloth binding is clean, bright, and tight. Notably, this copy is also square, despite the susceptibility of this edition to a forward lean. Shelf presentation is excellent, the gilt vivid and the blue hue undimmed; we perceive no color shift between the covers and spine. The only detraction which keeps us from rating this copy as near fine is a 1 x .625 inch (2.54 x 1.59 cm) superficial scuff and attendant loss of color to the lower rear cover. Wear is otherwise quite modest, substantially confined to extremities. The contents are notably bright and clean, with no previous ownership marks and no spotting. The page edges are clean apart from mild, uniform age-toning and perhaps the faintest suggestion of a little dust to the top edges. The binding is protected beneath a clear, removable mylar cover. The book is protected within a full dark green goatskin Solander case with rounded spine, gilt framed and decorated spine bands, gilt bordered covers, and dark-green felt-lined interior. Condition of the case is fine, with no reportable wear, soiling, or toning. A very young Churchill was exuberant about publication at the time. Even though Savrola was his third published book, it was actually the first book he undertook and the second he completed. His "Tale of the Revolution in Laurania" is a melodramatic tale of political intrigue in a fictional Mediterranean state. He would later make deprecating comments about his novel and it is perhaps instructive that he never wrote another. In his 1930 autobiography he wrote, "I have consistently urged my friends to abstain from reading it [Savrola]." However, his mixed feelings about his only novel did not keep Churchill from writing a foreword to a new edition in 1956: "The preface to the first edition in 1900 submitted the book 'with considerable trepidation to the judgment or the clemency of the public.' The intervening fifty-five years have somewhat dulled though certainly not changed my sentiments on this point." It has been argued that, as a literary effort, Savrola gave "dramatic voice to Churchill’s mature philosophical reflections about his fundamental political and ethical principles at the very moment when he settled on them for the rest of his life." (Powers, Finest Hour #74) Irrespective of Churchill's feelings about his book or the literary merit thereof, the novel certainly provides an interesting insight into the early political perspective and sentiment of the then very young Churchill. Reference: Cohen A3.1.a, Woods/ICS A3(a.1), Langworth p.39.
The Story of the Malakand Field Force: An Episode of Frontier War Housed in a full morocco Solander case

The Story of the Malakand Field Force: An Episode of Frontier War Housed in a full morocco Solander case

Winston S. Churchill This is the first edition, only printing, first state of Churchill's first book, based on his exploits with Sir Bindon Blood's expedition on the Northwest Frontier of India in 1897. The book is housed in a full green morocco Solander case and also presents a minor bibliographic curiosity. First state is confirmed by the lack of an errata slip and a publisher’s catalogue dated "12/97". The curiosity is the presence of a single sheet advertisement for a Bath stationer’s customizable "Visiting Cards" preceding the publisher’s catalogue. The binding cords appear to pass through this his single leaf, printed only on the recto, and it gives the impression of having been issued with the book and integral to it since publication, rather than laid in thereafter. In the many copies of Malakand we have examined, we have never previously encountered this advertisement. Leaving aside the bibliographic curiosity, condition of this complete and unrestored copy is very good plus. Of particular note are both an unusually bright binding and unusually clean contents. The publisher’s green cloth binding remains firm, square, and vividly hued with no color shift between the covers and spine and bright front cover and spine gilt. We note only a tiny bump to the upper front corner, a touch of handling evident in a hint of browning along the hinges, and a shallow dimple to the upper half of the spine center. We would grade this copy as near-fine if not for the spine dimple. The contents certainly are near fine – quite clean for the edition. The original black endpapers are present and all maps are intact, including the folding maps at pages 1 and 146, as is the frontispiece and tissue guard. We find no previous ownership marks. Trivial spotting appears confined to the prelims and otherwise clean page edges. The book is protected within a full dark green goatskin Solander case with rounded spine, gilt framed and decorated spine bands, gilt bordered covers, and dark-green felt-lined interior. Condition of the case is fine, with no reportable wear, soiling, or toning. When this book was written and published, Churchill was a young cavalry officer still serving in India. While he had successfully applied his pen as a war correspondent - indeed the book is based on his dispatches to the Daily Telegraph and the Pioneer Mail - this was his first book-length work. The young Churchill was motivated by a combination of pique and ambition. He was vexed that his Daily Telegraph columns were to be published unsigned. On 25 October 1897 Churchill wrote to his mother: ".I had written them with the design. of bringing my personality before the electorate." Two weeks later, his resolve to write a book firming, Churchill again wrote to his mother: ".It is a great undertaking but if carried out will yield substantial results in every way, financially, politically, and even, though do I care a damn, militarily." Having invested his ambition in this first book, he clearly labored over it: "I have discovered a great power of application which I did not think I possessed. For two months I have worked not less than five hours a day." The finished manuscript was sent to his mother on the last day of 1897 and published on 14 March of 1898. Dozens of books followed this first over the next six decades, helping Churchill earn his livelihood, his place in history, and a Nobel Prize in Literature. Publication was arranged by Churchill's uncle while the author was still in India, resulting in numerous spelling and detail errors. Churchill was incensed by the errors and acted with haste to address them. Hence later states of the first edition bear errata slips. Home Issue copies also bear a 32-page Longmans, Green catalogue bound in at the back, which is dated either "12/97" or "3/98" at the foot of page 32. Reference: Cohen A1.1.a, Woods/ICS A1(aa), Langworth p.12
Savrola

Savrola

Winston S. Churchill This is the second and final printing of the U.S. first edition of Churchill's third published book and only novel. Of note, this is one of the few Churchill books for which the U.S. edition is the true first edition. In fact, the British first edition was issued from American plates. The second printing of the first edition occurred in January 1900, the same month as the U.S. first printing and still a month before the first British edition, which was not issued until February 1900. The second printing is externally identical to the first printing, and differs internally only by notation of the January 1900 reprint on the copyright page. This is a very good plus copy. The blue cloth binding is unusually clean. Of particular note, the spine is neither toned nor faded, retaining bright gilt and excellent, original color with no color shift between the covers and spine. The binding shows a slight lean and light wear primarily confined to the spine ends and corners, with a trivial, small, faintly whitish blemish just below the author's name on the spine. The contents are excellent - clean, bright, and tight. We find no spotting and no previous ownership marks. The sole internal flaw detected is loss of a blank portion of the lower right corner of the final page of the catalogue, bound in at the rear. The page edges are likewise unusually clean, with slight age-toning but otherwise unmarked. A very young Churchill was exuberant about publication at the time. Even though Savrola was his third published book, it was actually the first book he undertook and the second he completed. His "Tale of the Revolution in Laurania" is a melodramatic tale of political intrigue in a fictional Mediterranean state. He would later make deprecating comments about his novel and it is perhaps instructive that he never wrote another. In his 1930 autobiography he wrote, "I have consistently urged my friends to abstain from reading it [Savrola]." However, his mixed feelings about his only novel did not keep Churchill from writing a foreword to a new edition in 1956: "The preface to the first edition in 1900 submitted the book 'with considerable trepidation to the judgment or the clemency of the public.' The intervening fifty-five years have somewhat dulled though certainly not changed my sentiments on this point." It has been argued that, as a literary effort, Savrola gave "dramatic voice to Churchill’s mature philosophical reflections about his fundamental political and ethical principles at the very moment when he settled on them for the rest of his life." (Powers, Finest Hour #74) Irrespective of Churchill's feelings about his book or the literary merit thereof, the novel certainly provides an interesting insight into the early political perspective and sentiment of the then very young Churchill. Reference: Cohen A3.1.b, Woods/ICS A3(a.2), Langworth p.39.
Savrola

Savrola

Winston S. Churchill This is the second and final printing of the U.S. first edition of Churchill's third published book and only novel. Of note, this is one of the few Churchill books for which the U.S. edition is the true first edition. In fact, the British first edition was issued from American plates. The second printing of the first edition occurred in January 1900, the same month as the U.S. first printing and still a month before the first British edition, which was not issued until February 1900. The second printing is externally identical to the first printing, and differs internally only by notation of the January 1900 reprint on the copyright page. This is a good plus copy. The blue cloth binding is lightly scuffed overall with some wear to extremities and a forward lean, but nonetheless retains quite respectable spine color, only slightly dulled. The contents are clean overall with light spotting primarily confined to the endpapers and page edges. Both pastedown gutters show cosmetic splitting, but the binding is nonetheless quite firm, the mull fully intact. The sole previous ownership mark is a last name and date of "1900" inked in the same hand on the upper front free endpaper recto. A very young Churchill was exuberant about publication at the time. Even though Savrola was his third published book, it was actually the first book he undertook and the second he completed. His "Tale of the Revolution in Laurania" is a melodramatic tale of political intrigue in a fictional Mediterranean state. He would later make deprecating comments about his novel and it is perhaps instructive that he never wrote another. In his 1930 autobiography he wrote, "I have consistently urged my friends to abstain from reading it [Savrola]." However, his mixed feelings about his only novel did not keep Churchill from writing a foreword to a new edition in 1956: "The preface to the first edition in 1900 submitted the book 'with considerable trepidation to the judgment or the clemency of the public.' The intervening fifty-five years have somewhat dulled though certainly not changed my sentiments on this point." It has been argued that, as a literary effort, Savrola gave "dramatic voice to Churchill’s mature philosophical reflections about his fundamental political and ethical principles at the very moment when he settled on them for the rest of his life." (Powers, Finest Hour #74) Irrespective of Churchill's feelings about his book or the literary merit thereof, the novel certainly provides an interesting insight into the early political perspective and sentiment of the then very young Churchill. Reference: Cohen A3.1.b, Woods/ICS A3(a.2), Langworth p.39.
Lord Randolph Churchill

Lord Randolph Churchill

Winston S. Churchill This is a first edition set of Winston Churchill's biography of his father, Lord Randolph Churchill. The first edition, only printing, is aesthetically pleasing, featuring deep red cloth, untrimmed page edges, gilt stamping, and the family coat of arms on the front covers. However, the red cloth binding of this edition proved quite susceptible to fading and wear and the contents to heavy spotting. First edition sets are not especially uncommon, but collector worthy sets are scarce. Here is a quite respectable set in very good condition. The red cloth bindings remain square and tight with negligible color shift between the covers and spine. Wear is modest, mostly confined to hinges and extremities with minor bumps to the upper Volume I corners and light scuffing to the boards. Shelf presentation is quite good, the red color well-preserved, soiling confined to a faint stain affecting the "CHU" in the Volume I title. The contents of both volumes remain bright with no previous ownership marks, though spotted intermittently throughout. The top and bottom edges show shelf dust, the untrimmed fore edges some age toning in addition to spotting. Winston Churchill’s biography of his father focuses on Lord Randolph's career in Parliament after 1880. Winston Churchill's father, Lord Randolph, died in January 1895 at age 45 following the spectacular collapse of both his health and political career. His son Winston was 20 years old. When he first contemplated writing his father's biography Winston Churchill was an itinerant soldier and war correspondent who had yet to write his first book. The son still dwelt very much in his father's shadow, both emotionally and in terms of the political career to which he already aspired. By the time the work was published in 1906, the young Winston Churchill already had half a dozen books to his credit and half a decade in Parliament. By 1906 Churchill had already left his father's political party, prevailed in the same political battle that had terminated his father's career, and was just two years from his first Cabinet post. That Churchill would be selected as biographer by Lord Randolph's executors was not a foregone conclusion. Churchill first entertained the idea soon after his father's death, but it was not until late in 1902 that he was appointed. Churchill then spent two and a half years researching and writing. We can assume that it was not only a major literary effort, but an emotional one as well. Of the work, Churchill wrote to Lord Rosebery on 11 September 1902 "It is all most interesting to me - and melancholy too" (R. Churchill, Companion Volume II, Part 1, p.438). Churchill was criticized by some reviewers for overplaying his father's accomplishments. Nonetheless, the work was well received both as a frank portrayal of Randolph's extremes and as a showcase for the son's literary talent. Reference: Cohen A17.1, Woods A8(a), Langworth p.69
London to Ladysmith via Pretoria

London to Ladysmith via Pretoria

Winston S. Churchill This is a first edition, first printing of Churchill's fourth published book. London to Ladysmith via Pretoria is the first of Churchill's two books based on his newspaper despatches sent from the front in South Africa, where his capture, captivity, and daring escape made him a celebrity and helped launch his political career. The British first edition is striking, bound in tan cloth with an illustration of an armoured train on the front cover accompanied by the author's facsimile signature and with the Union flag and Transvaal flag in gilt on the spine beneath a red subtitle. The binding is visually arresting, but the first edition proved notoriously fragile and prone to wear, soiling, toning, and spotting. This copy is in good plus condition, sound, complete, and unrestored, but nonetheless showing some of the aesthetic faults to which the edition is prone. The tan cloth binding is square and tight, though soiled and stained with wrinkling and fraying at the spine ends, some creasing of the spine cloth, and small splits at the upper rear hinge and along the lower rear hinge, as well as small nicks to the cloth at the rear cover fore edge and top edge. Despite the wear and soiling, shelf presentation is respectable, the spine only lightly toned, the red subtitle and gilt lettering still clearly legible. The contents are internally bright with no previous ownership marks. The original black endpapers are intact and all maps and plans are present, as are the folding maps at the title page and p.366. Spotting is modest for the edition, notable only at the prelims and page edges, which also show some age-toning. In October 1899, the second Boer War erupted between the descendants of Dutch settlers in South Africa and the British. Churchill, an adventure-seeking young cavalry officer and war correspondent, swiftly found himself in South Africa with the 21st Lancers and an assignment as press correspondent to the Morning Post. Not long thereafter, on 15 November 1899, Churchill was captured during a Boer ambush of an armored train. His daring and dramatic escape less than a month later made him a celebrity and helped launch his political career. London to Ladysmith via Pretoria contains 27 letters and telegrams to the Morning Post written between 26 October 1899 and 10 March 1900. It was published in England in mid-May 1900 and sold well. Churchill returned from South Africa in July 1900 and spent the summer campaigning hard in Oldham. Churchill had lost the Oldham by-election – his first attempt at Parliament – in July 1899. Since then, as Arthur Balfour (who became Prime Minister in 1902) put it in a 30 August 1900 letter, the young Churchill had had "fresh opportunities - admirably taken advantage of – for shewing the public of what stuff you are made." Indeed; Churchill won his first seat in Parliament on 1 October 1900 in the so-called "khaki election". Reference: Cohen A4.1.a, Woods/ICS A4(a.1), Langworth p.53.
India

India, the wraps issues of both the first and second printings, both housed in a two-chambered morocco Solander case

Winston S. Churchill This superior collector-worthy pair are the first edition, first printing, in the striking but fragile orange softcover ("wraps") binding, accompanied by the look-alike second and final printing in green wraps, both housed in a two-chambered green goatskin Solander case. India is a collection of ten Churchill speeches, part of his campaign against the India Bill over which he broke with his party’s leadership. Though his cause was lost, these speeches are considered to contain some of the finest examples of Churchill's rhetorical brilliance. The first printing is in very good condition. We find it increasingly difficult to find copies thus. The orange wraps binding remains tight, complete, and vividly hued. We note no color shift between the spine and covers. There is a mild vertical spine dimple, but no actual creasing. Light wear is confined to extremities and soiling is negligible. The contents are atypically clean with no previous ownership marks and notably free of spotting; we find only three faint spots on the fore edges. The second printing in green wraps is also a very good example. The binding is square, clean, tight, and complete. The lack of any spine creasing indicates that this copy is unread. We note only faint creasing and incidental wear to a few corners and a small, circular stain at the front cover fore edge. The contents are mildly age-toned but quite clean, with no previous ownership marks and light spotting confined to the title page and page edges. The handsome green goatskin Solander case features raised spine bands and red leather labels printed and ruled in gilt. Within, the case features bifurcated compartments, the second printing on the right, the first printing housed beneath a secondary cloth clamshell cover on the left. Condition of the case is fine, with no appreciable wear, soiling, or toning noted. India is, in many ways, an archetypal work of Churchill’s "wilderness years" in the 1930s, which saw him out of power and out of favor, unable to leverage the policies to which he nonetheless applied himself with characteristic vigor and eloquence. Churchill spent formative time as a young 19th century cavalry officer fighting on the northwest Indian frontier, about which he would write his first published book. He certainly did not adopt an early progressive attitude toward relinquishing control over the crown jewel of Britain's colonial empire. Nonetheless, it is instructive to remember that many of Churchill's dire warnings about Indian independence proved prophetic. Churchill had warned that too swift a British withdrawal would lead to bloody civil war and sectarian strife between Hindus and Muslims, Hindu domination, and destabilizing political balkanization of the subcontinent. All these predictions came to pass and, to a considerable extent, persist today. Nonetheless, to Churchill relinquishing India seemed more than simply a matter of policy. There was perhaps more than just wartime defiance in his 10 November 1942 utterance, "We have not entered this war for profit or expansion Let me, however, make this clear I have not become the King’s First Minister in order to preside over the liquidation of the British Empire. For that task, if ever it were prescribed, someone else would have to be found." Someone else was found; Churchill’s wartime premiership fell to the Labour victory in the July 1945 General Election, relegating Churchill to Leader of the Opposition. Under Prime Minister Clement Attlee, the Indian Independence Bill took effect on 15 August 1947, creating the independent nations of India and Pakistan and birthing the world’s most populous democracy in what was arguably the largest single act of political liberation in history. Independence also unfettered religious and communal strife that has lethally festered and flared ever since, claiming Gandhi himself in January 1948. Reference: Cohen A92.1.c & A92.1.e; Woods/ICS A38(a), Langworth p.150.
Painting as a Pastime

Painting as a Pastime

Winston S. Churchill This is the U.S. first edition, first printing of Painting as a Pastime, Churchill's essay about his famous hobby. It had been printed in The Strand Magazine as early as 1921, but it was not until 1948 - nearly three decades after his first published words on the subject - that Churchill consented to a book about his hobby and passion. This copy is very good in a good plus dust jacket. The dark turquoise binding is clean, square, and tight with sharp corners and bright spine gilt, with a touch of sunning at the spine ends and at the lower spine above the publisher’s name corresponding to a small dust jacket loss. The contents are clean and free of spotting and previous ownership marks. The dust jacket remains fairly bright and clean, though neatly price-clipped with some scuffing to the front face and minor losses to the spine ends, a few corners, and a small chip at the lower spine above the publisher’s name. The dust jacket is protected with a removable, clear, archival cover. Soldier, writer, and politician, Churchill was perhaps an unlikely painter. Nonetheless he proved both a prolific and a passionate one. Churchill first took up painting during the First World War. May 1915 saw Churchill scapegoated for failure in the Dardanelles and slaughter at Gallipoli and forced from his Cabinet position at the Admiralty. By November 1915 Churchill was serving at the Front, leading a battalion in the trenches. But during the summer of 1915, as he battled depression, he rented Hoe Farm in Surrey, which he frequented with his wife and three children. One day in June, Churchill noticed his brother's wife, Gwendeline, sketching in watercolors. Churchill borrowed her brush and swiftly found solace in painting, which would be a passion and source of release and renewal for the remaining half century of his long life. Winston's wife Clementine had opposed the idea of her husband's opining in print on the subject, concerned that he might be belittled by professional painters and others. Clementine aside, it may be that Churchill's comparative reticence on the subject was to keep something personal in the great and turbulent sweep of his otherwise tremendously public life. He wrote in this volume, "Painting is a friend who makes no undue demands, excites to no exhausting pursuits, keeps faithful pace even with feeble steps, and holds her canvas as a screen between us and the envious eyes of Time or the surly advance of Decrepitude". Whatever Churchill's reason for penning and ultimately consenting to book publication of Painting as a Pastime complete with images of his paintings, the relatively few words he offered on the subject add something truly personal and different to the great body of his writing. Reference: Cohen A242.3, Woods/ICS A125(b), Langworth p.290.
Marlborough: His Life and Times

Marlborough: His Life and Times, Volumes I & II, owned and donated by eminent U.S. historian Douglas Southall Freeman

Winston S. Churchill This U.S. first edition, first printing set of the first and second volumes was owned and donated by acclaimed historian Douglas Southall Freeman, whom Churchill knew and admired. Each front pastedown features a bookplate of the Library of the University of Richmond stating that the volume was a "Gift of Dr. Douglas S. Freeman". At the bottom of each pastedown and on each lower title page are also "Library University of Richmond Virginia", with "Withdrawn" ink stamps on the pastedowns. Overall condition is only good. Though the volumes are square and tight with sharp corners and Vol. II shelf presentation is quite respectable, the Vol. I spine is more toned and the gilt dulled and partly lost. There is also a 2.75 inch (6.99 cm) cosmetic split to the cloth along the front hinge beginning one inch (2.54 cm) below the spine head. The contents of both volumes are lightly toned, clean internally with light spotting confined to the top and fore edges. Called "America’s Greatest biographer" by fellow historian Allan Nevins, Douglas Southall Freeman (1886-1953) was the son of a soldier in Robert E. Lee’s Fourth Virginia Artillery who was wounded at the Siege of Petersburg. Freeman received his PhD in history in 1908 at the age of 22. While working as a journalist Freeman delved into Lee’s history and worked on his first book. Published in 1915, Lee’s Dispatches collected the previously unseen letters between the two most prominent figures of the Confederacy. Freeman’s book was an immediate success. Among his admirers was Winston Churchill, who was escorted by Freeman on a tour of Confederate battlefields during Churchill’s 1929 U.S. visit. Churchill’s 1930 article "If Lee Had Not Won at Gettysburg", as well as his later writing about the American Civil War in A History of the English-Speaking Peoples, was undoubtedly influenced by this visit and tour with Freeman. Scribner’s invited Freeman to write a biography of Lee and the resulting four-volume biography, R. E. Lee, published in 1934 and 1935, won Freeman the Pulitzer Prize (1935). During the Second World War, Freeman’s ongoing work on Lee and his commanders brought Freeman wide acclaim in military circles. Generals George Marshall, Douglas MacArthur, and Dwight D. Eisenhower allegedly sought his council and the latter’s decision to run for president was at least partially thanks to Freeman’s suggestion. (Johnson, Douglas Southall Freeman, p.335) A 1948 Time profile notes "a letter from President Roosevelt thanking Freeman for suggesting the term "liberation" instead of "invasion" of Europe." Freeman received a second Pulitzer posthumously for his seven-volume biography of George Washington. The attention Freeman devoted to Lee and his commanders Churchill gave to Marlborough. Winston Churchill's monumental biography of his great ancestor, John Churchill, the first Duke of Marlborough, ultimately took 10 years of research and writing and is the most substantial published work of Churchill's "wilderness years" in the 1930s. This decade saw Churchill pass into his sixties with his own future as uncertain as that of his nation. Churchill may have wondered more than once if the life history he was writing would eclipse his own. Richard Langworth says "To understand the Churchill of the Second World War, the majestic blending of his commanding English with historical precedent, one has to read Marlborough." T. E. Lawrence wrote to Churchill in fulsome praise upon finishing Volume I: "I finished it only yesterday. I wish I had not Marlborough has the big scene-painting, the informed pictures of men, the sober comment on political method, the humour, irony and understanding It is history, solemn and decorative." Few would accuse Churchill of objectivity. Nonetheless, when Churchill was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1953, it was partly for "mastery of historical and biographical description" displayed in Marlborough. Reference: A97.4(I&II).a, Woods/ICS A40(ba), Langworth p.169.