London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1900. 1st Edition. Hardcover. This is Churchill's fourth book and the first of his two books based on his newspaper despatches sent from the front in South Africa. It was during this conflict that Churchill was captured by the Boers and made a daring escape that made him a celebrity and helped launch his political career. The first edition is a beautiful book with a distinctive, pictorial front cover, but is notoriously fragile and prone to wear, soiling, and spotting.
This very good first edition, first printing copy is better than most, despite a flaw at the head of the spine. The khaki cloth binding remains tight and nearly square, with just a slight lean that is likely correctable. Spine presentation is very good, with bright gilt, clearly visible red subtitle, and only very mild toning and soiling and the usual vertical dimple at the center. The pardonable flaw that prevents this from being a superior copy is a .5 inch vertical tear at the head of the spine just above the "L" in "LONDON. The pictorial front cover and blank rear cover are only lightly soiled and the binding shows only minor wear confined to the spine ends and lower corners. The contents are unusually clean, and tight. The original black endpapers are intact, as are all maps and plans, which are pristine, including the notoriously fragile folding maps. We find no previous ownership markings. This is a quite respectable original and unrestored first edition, first printing, with only the minor flaw of the small tear in the spine cloth to detract.
Reference: Cohen A4.1.a, Woods/ICS A4(a.1), Langworth p.53. Item #001769