Marlborough His Life and Times: Volume V, The Years of Mastery, 1705-1708. Winston S. Churchill.
Marlborough His Life and Times: Volume V, The Years of Mastery, 1705-1708
Marlborough His Life and Times: Volume V, The Years of Mastery, 1705-1708
Marlborough His Life and Times: Volume V, The Years of Mastery, 1705-1708
Marlborough His Life and Times: Volume V, The Years of Mastery, 1705-1708

Marlborough His Life and Times: Volume V, The Years of Mastery, 1705-1708

New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1937. First edition, only printing. Hardcover. This is the penultimate volume of Churchill's Marlborough: His Life and Times, the U.S. first edition in the scarce and distinctive first state dust jacket. The British first edition was issued in four volumes. The U.S. publisher chose to split the first two volumes into two books each, resulting in a six volume set that is otherwise identical in content to the British. The first four U.S. volumes were originally issued in two-volume sets, with cream-colored dust jackets featuring green print. The fifth volume differs quite dramatically from the later blue and gold issue dust jackets, being printed red and black on white paper, bearing a front face illustration, and matching in design the slipcases for the first state issue Volumes I & II and III & IV sets. Only in 1938, when the sixth and final U.S. volume was published, were the more commonly seen blue and gold dust jackets issued. Today the first state dust jackets are quite scarce, Volume V being scarcest in our experience. This is a good plus copy in a good plus first state dust jacket. The dust jacket is unclipped, with the original “$4.50” front flap price intact, and substantially complete, with only minor loss at the spine ends and corners. We note spine toning and scuffing along the hinges. The dust jacket is protected in a removable, archival quality clear cover. The book beneath is square and tight, but a typical example; among the six U.S. first editions of Marlborough, the Volume V spine gilt proved uniquely susceptible to darkening. This copy suffers darkening of the spine gilt, but is otherwise clean, with light wear to extremities and a bump to the lower front corner. The contents show no previous ownership marks and no spotting, with modest age-toning to the page edges and light dust soiling to the top edge. 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. Bibliographic reference: Cohen A97.4(V).b, Woods/ICS A40(ba), Langworth p.169. Item #003987

Price: $300.00

See all items in First Editions
See all items by