London: Longmans, Green, and Company, 1900. First edition, first printing. Hardcover. This is the British first edition, first printing, first state of Churchill's third book and only novel. 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. He would later make deprecating comments about the book. 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, in which he said: "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." Irrespective of Churchill's feelings about his book, this novel certainly provides an interesting insight into the early perspective and sentiment of the then very young Churchill.
The British first edition was issued from American plates, with only 1,500 copies of the first printing published on 12 February 1900. It is bound quite differently from its U.S. counterpart, in green cloth with Churchill's facsimile signature in gilt on the front cover. The British first edition proved less durable than its U.S. counterpart, and is most often seen significantly worn and spotted. There are two states of the first printing, the second state distinguished by a title page cancellans with a blank verso.
Here is the British first edition, first printing, first state, a very good plus copy considering the inherent fragility of the edition. First state is confirmed by an integral title page with the print history on the title page verso. The green cloth binding is tight and shows better than most copies we see, remaining clean with bright gilt, sharp corners, and no toning to the spine. Modest wear is confined to the spine ends, hinges, and corners. The binding has a mild forward lean, which seems endemic to the edition. The contents are bright and the pages retain a crisp feel. The original black papers are intact with no splits. We find no previous ownership marks. Mild spotting appears primarily confined to the first and final leaves and page edges, only occasional throughout the text. The binding is protected with a removable clear mylar cover.
Reference: Cohen A3.2.a, Woods/ICS A3(ba.1), Langworth p.41. Very good plus. Item #002965