Item #002579 The Story of the Malakand Field Force: An Episode of Frontier War, the first edition, only printing, first state, a multiple family association copy inscribed and dated in April 1898 by Winston's "favorite Aunt" Leonie Leslie to the husband of Winston's American cousin. Winston S. Churchill.
The Story of the Malakand Field Force: An Episode of Frontier War, the first edition, only printing, first state, a multiple family association copy inscribed and dated in April 1898 by Winston's "favorite Aunt" Leonie Leslie to the husband of Winston's American cousin
The Story of the Malakand Field Force: An Episode of Frontier War, the first edition, only printing, first state, a multiple family association copy inscribed and dated in April 1898 by Winston's "favorite Aunt" Leonie Leslie to the husband of Winston's American cousin
The Story of the Malakand Field Force: An Episode of Frontier War, the first edition, only printing, first state, a multiple family association copy inscribed and dated in April 1898 by Winston's "favorite Aunt" Leonie Leslie to the husband of Winston's American cousin
The Story of the Malakand Field Force: An Episode of Frontier War, the first edition, only printing, first state, a multiple family association copy inscribed and dated in April 1898 by Winston's "favorite Aunt" Leonie Leslie to the husband of Winston's American cousin
The Story of the Malakand Field Force: An Episode of Frontier War, the first edition, only printing, first state, a multiple family association copy inscribed and dated in April 1898 by Winston's "favorite Aunt" Leonie Leslie to the husband of Winston's American cousin
The Story of the Malakand Field Force: An Episode of Frontier War, the first edition, only printing, first state, a multiple family association copy inscribed and dated in April 1898 by Winston's "favorite Aunt" Leonie Leslie to the husband of Winston's American cousin
The Story of the Malakand Field Force: An Episode of Frontier War, the first edition, only printing, first state, a multiple family association copy inscribed and dated in April 1898 by Winston's "favorite Aunt" Leonie Leslie to the husband of Winston's American cousin
The Story of the Malakand Field Force: An Episode of Frontier War, the first edition, only printing, first state, a multiple family association copy inscribed and dated in April 1898 by Winston's "favorite Aunt" Leonie Leslie to the husband of Winston's American cousin
The Story of the Malakand Field Force: An Episode of Frontier War, the first edition, only printing, first state, a multiple family association copy inscribed and dated in April 1898 by Winston's "favorite Aunt" Leonie Leslie to the husband of Winston's American cousin
The Story of the Malakand Field Force: An Episode of Frontier War, the first edition, only printing, first state, a multiple family association copy inscribed and dated in April 1898 by Winston's "favorite Aunt" Leonie Leslie to the husband of Winston's American cousin
The Story of the Malakand Field Force: An Episode of Frontier War, the first edition, only printing, first state, a multiple family association copy inscribed and dated in April 1898 by Winston's "favorite Aunt" Leonie Leslie to the husband of Winston's American cousin

The Story of the Malakand Field Force: An Episode of Frontier War, the first edition, only printing, first state, a multiple family association copy inscribed and dated in April 1898 by Winston's "favorite Aunt" Leonie Leslie to the husband of Winston's American cousin

London: Longmans, Green and Co., 1898. First edition, only printing. Hardcover. This is a double family association copy of the first edition, only printing, first state of Winston S. Churchill’s first published book. The enthusiastically proud inscription, inked on the half-title in four lines, reads “David Thomson | from the Author’s | Aunt! | April 98”. The date is the month following 14 March 1898 publication. The inscription is in the hand of Winston’s “favorite” Aunt Leonie to the husband of Winston’s cousin.

Condition

This beautifully clean, near-fine copy would be noteworthy for condition alone. The lack of an errata slip and rear catalogue dated “12/97” identify first state. The green cloth binding is square, tight, and unfaded with no appreciable color shift between spine and covers, sharp corners, and bright gilt on both the front cover and spine. We note only some wrinkling to the spine ends, a superficial blemish to the rear cover, and very light soiling, mostly to the lower front cover fore edge. The contents are bright, apart from customary toning of the endpapers and adjacent leaves. All maps are intact, including folding maps at pages 1 and 146, as are the frontispiece and tissue guard and the original black endpapers. Spotting is light for the edition. The only previous ownership mark, discussed below, is an embossed device associated with the estate of Churchill’s cousin.

The book is housed in a full green Morocco goatskin Solander case featuring a rounded spine, with gilt rule framed and gilt decorated spine bands, and covers with gilt rule borders, the interior lined with green velvet.

Winston’s “favorite aunt”

Lady Leonie Blanche (nee Jerome) Leslie (1859-1943) was the youngest of the three famous Jerome sisters – including Clara and Jennie, the mother of Winston Churchill. Jennie’s 1873 marriage to a son of the Duke of Marlborough both produced Winston Churchill and introduced her sisters to aristocratic England, from which their own marriages ensued. In 1884, Leonie wed Sir John Leslie, an Anglo-Irish baronet.

Winston, fifteen years his aunt’s junior, maintained a lifelong relationship with her. “…it was often ‘Tante Leonie’ who took Winston in hand during his holidays.” (Kehoe, Fortune’s Daughters, p.151) Aunt Leonie sketched the outline of the heroine in Winston’s only novel, helped him furnish his first bachelor flat, and corresponded with him throughout his adult life. The year before she died, on 14 September 1942, she wrote to her nephew: “I am all puffed up with pride at your great achievements, yes, puffed out like an old pouter pigeon.” In his last letter to her, of 1 August 1943, he wrote to her “You have sent me a lot of charming messages which have cheered me greatly on this long journey. They give me, what no one else can give me, the link with my youth and with my mother.” Leonie called Winston her favorite nephew (Irish Independent) and she, in turn, was his favorite aunt.

Forty-five years after she inscribed this book, Leonie died while her nephew was Britain’s wartime Prime Minister. Leonie was reportedly buried with “between her fingers a silver coin Winston sent her for luck…” (24 August 1943 letter from Shane Leslie to Seymour Leslie)

David Thomson & Eva Purdy

The recipient of this copy, David Thomson (1853-1906), a New York City lawyer, was the husband of Eva Purdy Thomson (1860-1917). Eva was an American cousin of Winston Churchill, the daughter of Catherine Purdy (nee Hall), sister of Mrs. Leonard Jerome (nee Clarissa Hall), Winston’s maternal grandmother. Churchill was hosted and helped by Eva during his first visit to New York in 1895. Churchill later inscribed several books for Eva’s and husband, including The River War (1899) and Lord Randolph Churchill (1906).

The upper right blank margin of p.1 features the circular embossed device of “Nepahwin, Inc 1917”. Nepahwin was Eva's estate near New Windsor-on-the-Hudson, reportedly converted to an incorporated retreat for religious workers when Eva died.

Reference: Cohen A1.1.a, Woods/ICS A1(aa), Langworth p.12. Item #002579

Price: $11,500.00

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