Ian Hamilton's March. Winston S. Churchill.
Ian Hamilton's March
Ian Hamilton's March
Ian Hamilton's March

Ian Hamilton's March

New York: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1900. 1st Edition. Hardcover. Here is the U.S. first edition of Churchill's fifth book - the second of his two books based on his newspaper despatches sent from the front in South Africa. In October 1899, the second Boer War erupted in South Africa between the descendants of Dutch settlers and the British. As an adventure-seeking young cavalry officer and war correspondent, Churchill swiftly found himself in South Africa with the 21st Lancers and an assignment as press correspondent to the Morning Post. Not long thereafter - on 18 November 1899, Churchill was captured during a Boer ambush of an armored train. His daring escape less than a month later made him a celebrity and helped launch his political career. Churchill's first Boer War book, London to Ladysmith via Pretoria, contained 27 letters and telegrams to the Morning Post written between 26 October 1899 and 10 March 1900 and was published in England in mid-May. Ian Hamilton's March completes Churchill's coverage of the Boer War, comprising 17 letters to the Morning Post, spanning 31 March through 14 June 1900. While London to Ladysmith via Pretoria had swiftly published Churchill's dispatches in the wake of his capture and escape, for Ian Hamilton's March "the texts of the originally published letters were more extensively revised and four letters were included which had never appeared in periodical form" (Cohen, A8.1.a, Vol. I, p.105). Churchill effected these revisions while on board the passenger and cargo steamer Dunottar Castle which was requisitioned as a troop ship, en route home to England. Churchill arrived on 20 July 1900 and spent the summer campaigning hard in Oldham, capitalizing on his war status and winning his first seat in Parliament on 1 October 1900 in the so-called "khaki election." The narrative in Ian Hamilton's March includes the liberation of the Pretoria prison camp where Churchill had been held and from which he had famously escaped. The title takes its name from General Sir Ian Hamilton's campaign from Bloemfontein to Johannesburg and Pretoria. Churchill would maintain a life-long friendship with Hamilton, who would be involved in the Gallipoli landings and to whom Churchill would sell his first country home. Published on 26 November 1900, the U.S. first edition was thus available for sale when Churchill arrived in New York on 8 December 1900 for his first North American lecture tour. The U.S. first edition saw only a single printing. The number sold is unclear, but seems to be fewer than 1,500. This American edition is thus considerably more scarce than the British first edition, of which more than 5,000 first printing copies were issued. Like the U.S. first edition of Ladysmith, the U.S. first edition of Ian Hamilton's March is bound in pebble grain red buckram which proved quite susceptible to blotchy wear and soiling, particularly on the spine. Offered here is a very good copy. The red cloth binding is tight and square. Light wear is confined to extremities. The spine has a 1.5 inch vertical line of slight discoloration beginning at the lower part of the title and some mild blotchiness and soiling to the lower quarter of the spine. Exterior presentation is nonetheless quite respectable for this scarce and wear-prone edition. The contents are clean, bright, and entirely free of spotting. The top edge gilt remains bright, though lightly soiled and with a small oval stain. The tissue over the frontispiece is intact, as are all maps and plans. There is a decorative owner bookplate on the front pastedown and the name of this same owner inked on the ffep and dated "1903". Bibliographic reference: Cohen A8.2, Woods/ICS A5(ca), Langworth p.61. Very good. Item #001260

Price: $400.00

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