New York: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1900. First edition, second printing. Hardcover. This is the second and final printing of the U.S. first edition of Churchill's third published book and only novel. Of note, this is one of the few Churchill books for which the U.S. edition is the true first edition. In fact, the British first edition was issued from American plates. The second printing of the first edition occurred in January 1900, the same month as the U.S. first printing and still a month before the first British edition, which was not issued until February 1900. The second printing is externally identical to the first printing, and differs internally only by notation of the January 1900 reprint on the copyright page.
This is a very good plus copy. The blue cloth binding is unusually clean. Of particular note, the spine is neither toned nor faded, retaining bright gilt and excellent, original color with no color shift between the covers and spine. The binding shows a slight lean and light wear primarily confined to the spine ends and corners, with a trivial, small, faintly whitish blemish just below the author's name on the spine. The contents are excellent - clean, bright, and tight. We find no spotting and no previous ownership marks. The sole internal flaw detected is loss of a blank portion of the lower right corner of the final page of the catalogue, bound in at the rear. The page edges are likewise unusually clean, with slight age-toning but otherwise unmarked.
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. His “Tale of the Revolution in Laurania” is a melodramatic tale of political intrigue in a fictional Mediterranean state. He would later make deprecating comments about his novel and it is perhaps instructive that he never wrote another. 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: "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."
It has been argued that, as a literary effort, Savrola gave “dramatic voice to Churchill’s mature philosophical reflections about his fundamental political and ethical principles at the very moment when he settled on them for the rest of his life.” (Powers, Finest Hour #74) Irrespective of Churchill's feelings about his book or the literary merit thereof, the novel certainly provides an interesting insight into the early political perspective and sentiment of the then very young Churchill.
Reference: Cohen A3.1.b, Woods/ICS A3(a.2), Langworth p.39. Item #001992