Great Contemporaries, finely bound in full red morocco by Asprey of London. Winston S. Churchill.
Great Contemporaries, finely bound in full red morocco by Asprey of London
Great Contemporaries, finely bound in full red morocco by Asprey of London
Great Contemporaries, finely bound in full red morocco by Asprey of London
Great Contemporaries, finely bound in full red morocco by Asprey of London
Great Contemporaries, finely bound in full red morocco by Asprey of London
Great Contemporaries, finely bound in full red morocco by Asprey of London

Great Contemporaries, finely bound in full red morocco by Asprey of London

London: Thornton Butterworth Ltd., 1937. First edition, first printing. Full leather. This is the first edition, first printing, magnificently bound in full red morocco by Asprey of London. The exceptional goatskin binding features a hubbed and gilt ruled spine bearing the title and author with gilt ruled and decorated compartments. There are gilt rule borders on the covers, gilt rules on the binding edges, gilt page edges, and elaborately gilt tooled turn-ins framing striking, marbled endpapers. Churchill's facsimile signature is stamped in gilt on the lower front cover. Even the gold, red, and black head and foot bands are executed with noteworthy skill and aesthetic effect. This is a striking example of the binder's craft and a reminder that all fine bindings are not created equal. "ASPREY" is stamped in gilt on the lower front pastedown. The luxury goods firm Asprey of London was established in 1781. Asprey began offering finely bound reference books in the early 1900s, which after the Second World War developed to include a range of both antiquarian and new books finely bound by Asprey. As is the quality, condition of the binding is superb, the beautifully grained morocco showing no blemishes or wear. The contents are well-suited to the binding – notably crisp, bright, and clean with no previous ownership marks and only a barely discernible hint of spotting confined to the prelims. Great Contemporaries is Churchill's much-praised collection of insightful essays about 21 leading personalities of the day - including the likes of Lawrence, Shaw, and, most famously, Hitler. The character sketches herein offer remarkable portraits of both their subjects and the author. Churchill's piece about Hitler can be a shock to the modern ear, as it underscores his ability to write a balanced appraisal of his subject while expressing his earnest desire to avoid the war that he would fight with such ferocious resolve only a few years later. There is a reason this book is still in print today. It was written with what has been called "penetrating evaluation, humor, and understanding." Churchill's balanced and nuanced perspectives are a good model for many of today's more polemic writers. And naturally, in the course of sketching the character of his contemporaries Churchill necessarily reveals some of his own character and perspective. Churchill's portrait of T.E. Lawrence, published here just a few years before the Second World War, might well have been written about the author rather than by him: "The impression of the personality of Lawrence remains living and vivid upon the minds of his friends, and the sense of his loss is in no way dimmed among his countrymen. All feel the poorer that he has gone from us. In these days dangers and difficulties gather upon Britain and her Empire, and we are also conscious of a lack of outstanding figures with which to overcome them. Here was a man in whom there existed not only an immense capacity for service, but that touch of genius which everyone recognizes and no one can define." (Great Contemporaries, p.164) While some of the subjects of Churchill's sketches have receded into history, many remain well-known and all remain compellingly drawn. Bibliographic Reference: Cohen A105.1.a, Woods/ICS A43(a.1), Langworth p.178. Item #005727

Price: $1,850.00