Marlborough: His Life and Times, Volume IV. Winston S. Churchill.
Marlborough: His Life and Times, Volume IV
Marlborough: His Life and Times, Volume IV
Marlborough: His Life and Times, Volume IV
Marlborough: His Life and Times, Volume IV

Marlborough: His Life and Times, Volume IV

London: George G. Harrap & Co., Ltd. 1938. First edition, only printing. Hardcover. This is a jacketed British first edition, only printing of the fourth and final volume of Churchill's Marlborough - a premium copy suitable for filling a superior first edition set. 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.” Two months after Volume I was published, on 12 December 1933, T.E. Lawrence wrote to Churchill: “I finished it only yesterday. I wish I had not… The skeleton of the book is so good. Its parts balance and the main stream flows… Marlborough has the big scene-painting, the informed pictures of men, the sober comment on political method, the humour, irony and understanding of your normal writing: but beyond that it shows more discipline and strength: and great dignity. It is history, solemn and decorative.” 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. Here is the first British edition, only printing of Volume IV, a near fine copy in a very good plus dust jacket, scarce thus. This final volume covers the years 1708 to 1722, chronicling the decline of Marlborough and the apparent frustration of his work. It is a substantial 671 pages with 24 illustrations, 39 maps and plans, and 1 document facsimile. The plum cloth binding is square, clean, bright, and tight with sharp corners and bright spine gilt. We note only a hint of bubbling to the binding cloth at the lower front corner and a razor-thin strip of sunning at the spine head. The contents are crisp and bright with no previous ownership marks. Very light spotting is confined to the otherwise bright fore and bottom edges. The dust jacket is unclipped, retaining the original lower front flap price, and is complete apart from fractional chipping to the spine head. Shelf presentation is superior, despite modest, even toning to the jacket spine. The dust jacket is protected in a removable, archival quality clear cover. Bibliographic reference: Cohen A97.2(IV).a, Woods/ICS A40(aa), Langworth p.166. Item #003955

Price: $475.00

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