London: Macmillan and Company, 1906. 1st Edition. Hardcover. Churchill's first biographic work concentrates on Lord Randolph's career in Parliament after 1880. 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 a still 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. 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.
The first edition is aesthetically pleasing, featuring deep red cloth, uncut pages, gilt stamping, and the family coat of arms on the front covers. Offered here is a very good set with tight and square bindings and only trivial wear to extremities. Moreover, the Volume I title page bears a 1 inch embossed circle reading "PRESENTATION COPY" located immediately to the right of the publisher's name. The spines of both volumes show light sunning, but retain strong color. The spines are nicely rounded with bright gilt, but slightly faded when compared to the covers and with a 1.25 inch vertical stain at the base of Volume II. The contents of both volumes are bright and tight with no inscriptions. The Volume II contents are particularly tight and crisp, the book appearing unread. All Illustrations are present, as are the original tissue protectors. There are no inscriptions or previous ownership marks of any kind with the exception of the "PRESENTATION COPY" embossed circle on the Volume I title page. Spotting proved endemic to this edition; both volumes feature light intermittent spotting. Overall, a very respectable set made more interesting by the "presentation copy" marking.
Reference: Cohen A17.1, Woods/ICS A8(a), Langworth p.69. Item #001177