London: Longmans, Green, & Co., 1900. First edition, first printing. Hardcover. This is the British first edition, first printing of Churchill's fifth published book. Ian Hamilton's March was the second of Churchill's two books based on his newspaper despatches sent from the front in South Africa during the Boer War. It was during this conflict that Churchill was captured by the Boers. His daring escape made him a celebrity and helped launch his political career.
Ian Hamilton's March completes Churchill's coverage of the Boer War, publishing 17 letters to the Morning Post, spanning 31 March through 14 June 1900, including four letters which had never appeared in periodical form. (Cohen, A8.1.a, Vol. I, p.105) The narrative in Ian Hamilton's March includes the liberation of the Pretoria prison camp where Churchill had been held. It was published in England in October, just a few weeks after Churchill's first election to Parliament.
Though a companion and sequel to London to Ladysmith, it is notably different in appearance, content, and scarcity. The first printing saw only 5,000 copies - half as many copies as London to Ladysmith, with a second and final printing adding only 1,700 copies. Where Ladysmith bore a lavishly illustrated binding, Ian Hamilton's March was bound in red cloth matching the style of Churchill's first published book, The Story of the Malakand Field Force - fitting, as these were the first and last Churchill first editions published by Longmans, Green, and Co.
This first edition, first printing is in good plus condition, sound and unrestored with some cosmetic detractions. The red cloth binding remains tight with bright boards. We note minor wear at corners and wrinkling at spine ends, modest spine toning and some concavity to the spine, a two inch moisture stain at the rear hinge, and a very slight forward lean to the binding. The contents remain bright with a crisp feel. All maps and plans are present, as well as the frontispiece and tissue guard, and the original black endpapers are intact. We find no previous ownership marks. Spotting is primarily confined to the page edges and first few leaves, only occasionally intruding slightly into the blank inner text margins. The page edges show mild age-toning, the top edge light dust soiling.
Reference: Cohen A8.1.a, Woods/ICS A5(a), Langworth p.59. Item #002951