Marlborough: His Life and Times, Volume I, binding variant. Winston S. Churchill.
Marlborough: His Life and Times, Volume I, binding variant
Marlborough: His Life and Times, Volume I, binding variant
Marlborough: His Life and Times, Volume I, binding variant
Marlborough: His Life and Times, Volume I, binding variant

Marlborough: His Life and Times, Volume I, binding variant

London: George G. Harrap & Co. Ltd. 1934. First edition, third printing. Hardcover. This is a jacketed British first edition, third and final printing of the first volume of Churchill's Marlborough, notable not only for being a jacketed copy, but also for being a previously unknown binding variant. Winston Churchill's monumental biography of his great ancestor, John Churchill, the first Duke of Marlborough, was initially conceived a full 40 years before publication of the fourth and final volume. Churchill originally considered the idea of the biography in 1898, returning to it in earnest in 1928. Marlborough ultimately took 10 years of research and writing and is the most substantial published work of Churchill's "wilderness years" in the 1930s. This decade saw Churchill pass into his sixties with his own future as uncertain as that of his nation. It is perhaps not incidental that Churchill’s great work of the 1930s was about a great ancestor. Churchill may have wondered more than once if the life history he was writing might ultimately eclipse his own. Richard Langworth says "To understand the Churchill of the Second World War, the majestic blending of his commanding English with historical precedent, one has to read Marlborough.” The first edition of Marlborough was originally issued in four volumes and was very well received - both critically and aesthetically. The first edition is physically impressive, bound in plum cloth with beveled edges, the Marlborough coat of arms in gilt on the front cover, a gilt text block top edge, and a profusion of illustrations, maps, and plans. The first volume covers Marlborough's story up to the 1702 death of William III. It is a substantial 612 pages with 35 illustrations, 14 maps and plans, and 8 document facsimiles. This third printing was issued 13 months after the first and second printings. The dust jacket differs from those of the first and second printing only in flap content (blurbs) and notation of "3rd Impression" on the lower front flap. The content differs only trivially, with minor text corrections, an author's August 1934 "Note to the Revised Edition" following the Preface, and of course notation of all three printings on the copyright page. The binding is supposed to be identical to that of the first printing. However, this copy of the British first edition, final printing of Volume I is a surprising binding anomaly – a distinctly purple cloth without beveled edges. This variant binding is something that neither Churchill’s bibliographers nor we have previously encountered. The binding is consistent with Canadian first editions, which were issued in this same distinctly different dark purple smooth cloth without the beveled edges of the British edition and with the “Ryerson” publisher’s name on the spine. However, this copy is definitively a British edition; the copyright page, lower binding spine, and dust jacket spine all clearly state, “HARRAP”. Condition is very good plus in a very good plus dust jacket. The dark purple cloth binding is square, clean, bright, and tight, showing only small bumps to the lower edge and lower corners and a miniscule strip of sunning at the spine head where sunlight snuck past the dust jacket. The contents are crisp, bright, and clean with no previous ownership marks. Light spotting is confined to the otherwise bright fore and bottom edges. The top edge gilt remains bright. The dust jacket is notably bright and complete, with trivial wear to extremities and fractional chipping at the spine heel and bottom edge of the front panel. We note minor soiling to the nonetheless bright front panel. The dust jacket is protected beneath a removable, archival quality clear cover. Bibliographic reference: Cohen A97.2(I).c, Woods/ICS A40(aa), Langworth p.166. Item #003952

Price: $225.00

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