London: Odhams Press Limited, 1948. Hardcover. This is a postwar reprint inscribed to Clare Boothe Luce, a longtime friend of Winston Churchill rightly called “one of the most remarkable women of 20th-century America.” The inscription, inked in blue in five lines on the front free endpaper, reads: “To | Clare | from | Winston S. Churchill | 1948”. Provenance is the Luce family estate.
Clare Boothe Luce (1903-1987) was a journalist, playwright, Congresswoman, ambassador and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Clare was ambitious, charming, accomplished, intelligent, and promiscuous. Such was her notoriety that in 1944, in her first term in Congress, the 41-year-old Luce was elected “Woman of the Year” by a poll of American newspaper editors, pushing Eleanor Roosevelt into a distant second place. Her life intersected on many planes with her longtime friend, Winston Churchill. She also had a tempestuous affair with Churchill's only son, Randolph, whom she met at Chartwell in the early 1930s while having an affair with Bernard Baruch."
Clare was already a force in her own right when she married Henry Robinson Luce (b.1898) in 1935. They would remain married – albeit with infidelities, drama, and increasingly “scant compatibility” - until his death in 1967. Henry Luce was the influential creator of the Time-Life magazine empire. Together, "for almost three decades, the Luces were indisputably America’s foremost power couple." Journalist and philanthropist Henry “Hank” Luce III (1925-2005) was the elder son of Henry Luce by his first marriage.
This inscribed copy of Thoughts and Adventures was acquired from the New York estate library of the Luce family following the death of “Hank” Luce. Thoughts and Adventures is Churchill's collection of 23 engaging essays on an incredibly wide variety of subjects, originally published in 1932. It has been called "The broadest range of Churchill's thought between two hard covers" and reflects the two qualities so characterize Churchill's life - a remarkable breadth of both mind and life experience. From the original front flap blurb: "Whether he is dealing with personal reminiscences, or telling us his views on any subject under the sun, Mr. Churchill stamps the page with his own vivid personality.”
This is the standard binding of the second printing of the Odhams Press edition. The cover features Churchill's signature reproduced in gilt, and the spine and cover both have gilt-ruled black panels with gilt print. Condition is very good in a very good dust jacket. The red cloth binding is square and tight, with light wear to the spine ends, corners, and hinges, as well as some flaking of the gilt and black panel color. The contents remain respectably bright. Modest spotting is confined to the endpapers and the otherwise clean page edges. There are no previous ownership marks other than the author’s inscription. Faint differential toning to the endsheets corresponds with the dust jacket flaps, confirming that this copy has spent life jacketed. The dust jacket is unfaded with minor wear to extremities and some light soiling. The jacket is protected in a removable, archival quality clear cover.
Reference: Cohen A95.5.d, Woods/ICS A39(d), Langworth p. 161. Item #003570