London: Longmans, Green, and Company, 1900. 1st Edition. Hardcover. This is Churchill's third book and only novel. 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. He would later make deprecating comments about the work. 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, in which he said: "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."
Irrespective of Churchill's feelings about his book and his limitations as a novelist, this novel certainly provides insight into the early perspective and sentiment of the then very young Churchill. Only 1,500 copies of the first British impression were printed and the survival rate is low, making this a great rarity and considerably more scarce than the U.S. first edition.
Here is a first British edition, first printing. This is an honest first edition that shows some wear and age, but is original and unrestored. The binding is tight and unfaded with bright gilt, but slightly cocked. The green cloth boards are sound, but show a little wear, particularly at the corners. The spine shows light wear along the hinges, as well as some wear at head and tail with just a little fraying at the head. There is a small .25 inch tear above the title on spine. The original black endpapers are intact. The webbing shows a bit at the rear hinge, but the binding is still snug and sound. There is minor spotting throughout, as is common with this edition. The spotting is heavier at the endpapers. There are no bookplates or inscriptions. But interestingly, the ffep is signed "W. Churchill R.H." With a little hope and imagination, one could imagine that "R.H." is a young Churchill, recently elected to Parliament, pompously putting the abbreviation for "Right Honourable" after his name - However, this signature does not look to us like an authentic author signature.
Reference: Cohen A3.2.a, Woods/ICS A3(ba.1), Langworth p.41. Item #000334