My African Journey. Winston S. Churchill.
My African Journey
My African Journey

My African Journey

London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1910. Paperback. This is the 1910 vintage pulp paperback, the so-called "First Cheap Edition." My African Journey is Churchill's travelogue on Britain's possessions in East Africa, written while he was serving as Undersecretary of State for the Colonies. This book is notable, among other things, for being the only one of his many books to contain photographs ostensibly taken by the author. In the summer of 1907 Churchill left England for five months, making his way after working stops in southern Europe to Africa for "a tour of the east African domains." In early November, Churchill would kill a rhinoceros, the basis of the striking illustration on the front cover of the British first edition of his eventual book.

By now a seasoned and financially shrewd author, Churchill arranged to profit doubly from the trip, first by serializing articles in The Strand Magazine and then by publishing a book based substantially upon them. In November 1908 Hodder and Stoughton published My African Journey as a book, which was a substantial 10,000 words longer than the serialized articles. In 1910, two years after the first edition, the publisher issued a so-called "First Cheap Edition" produced in vintage "pulp" style. The text is arranged in a 92-page, two-column format with a few pages of advertisements at either end. This handsome paperback edition features a color illustration on the front cover similar to that of the first edition, with Churchill in pith helmet with binoculars around his neck and a rifle in his hands standing beside a dead white rhinoceros. Some 20,000 copies were produced, but given the fragility of the edition, very few survive today. And those that do are usually in poor condition - befitting a cheap paperback more than a century old.

This copy is far from fine, but nonethless quite respectable given the age and inherent fragility of the edition. The covers remain firmly attached with some creasing and minor loss confined to the corners. The spine is substantially complete, with only a .5 inch loss at the head and .25 inch loss at the tail, leaving all spine lettering intact except for the "M" in the title. There is a horizontal closed tear spanning the spine and a short distance adjacent on both covers between "Hon." and "Winston". The contents are age-toned, as is ineveitable given the pulp paper, with minor loss to the corners of the first few pages, but otherwise clean, with no spotting or previous owner names.

Reference: Cohen A27.8, Woods/ICS A12(b), Langworth p.85. Item #003079

Price: $850.00

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