Savrola, finely bound in full red morocco by Bayntun Riviere. Winston S. Churchill.
Savrola, finely bound in full red morocco by Bayntun Riviere
Savrola, finely bound in full red morocco by Bayntun Riviere
Savrola, finely bound in full red morocco by Bayntun Riviere

Savrola, finely bound in full red morocco by Bayntun Riviere

London: Longmans, Green, and Company, 1900. First edition, first printing. Full leather. This magnificent British first edition, first printing of Churchill's third book and only novel is bound in full red morocco by Bayntun Riviere. Robert Riviere founded his bindery in Bath in 1829, and George Bayntun followed his example in 1894. Bayntun-Riviere is now the last of the great Victorian trade binderies still in family ownership and prides itself on continuing to bind entirely by hand. This exceptional binding features raised and gilt-decorated spine bands and gilt rule panels with alternating lion rampant, title, and author, covers with gilt rule borders, Churchill's facsimile signature in gilt on the front cover, gilt-decorated edges, and double-gilt rule and gilt-decorated turn-ins framing marbled endpapers, all page edges gilt and head and foot bands. Condition is truly fine. The binding is pristine, bright and clean with virtually no wear. The contents are suited to the binding, notably crisp and bright with none of the spotting endemic to the edition and no previous ownership marks. Also preserved is the original advertisement page for The River War and The Story of the Malakand Field Force immediately following the text. Even though Savrola was Churchill’s third published book, it was actually the first book he undertook and the second he completed. Churchill’s dramatic tale of a democratic revolution in a fictional European state revolves around the titular hero. A very young Churchill was exuberant about publication at the time, though he would later make deprecating comments about the book. In his 1930 autobiography he wrote, "I have consistently urged my friends to abstain from reading it [Savrola].” Nonetheless, he penned a foreword to a new edition in 1956: "The preface to the first edition in 1900 submitted the book 'with considerable trepidation to the judgment or the clemency of the public.' The intervening fifty-five years have somewhat dulled though certainly not changed my sentiments on this point." Irrespective of its literary virtues and Churchill's own mixed feelings, this novel is a window on the perspective and sentiment of a very young Churchill. The British first edition was issued from American plates, with only 1,500 copies of the first printing published on 12 February 1900. It was bound quite differently from its U.S. counterpart, in green cloth with Churchill's facsimile signature in gilt on the front cover. The British first edition proved less durable than its U.S. counterpart, and is most often seen significantly worn and spotted. This fine binding of superlative first printing contents is a strikingly beautiful improvement on the typical first edition. There are two states of the first printing, the second state distinguished by a title page cancellans with a blank verso. This copy is second state, “manufactured and bound in a quantity of 650 [of the 1500 first printing total] prior to the 12 February 1900 publication date.” Bibliographic reference: Cohen A3.2.b, Woods/ICS A3(ba.1), Langworth p.41. Item #004175

Price: $1,950.00