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

Marlborough: His Life and Times, Volume I

London: George G. Harrap & Co. Ltd. 1933. First edition, first printing. Hardcover. This is a jacketed British first edition, first printing of the first volume of Churchill's Marlborough, the most elusive volume to filling a first printing 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. Unfortunately, the plum cloth binding in Volumes I-III proved highly susceptible to sun fading. (A different, more fade-resistant dye was used in Volume IV.) Without the dust jackets, Volumes I-III are nearly always spine faded. Here is the first edition, first printing of Volume I, a very good copy in a very good dust jacket. This 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. The binding is square and tight with sharp corners, bright gilt, and only a hint of sunning to the extreme spine ends where a hint of sun snuck past the edges of the dust jacket. The contents are crisp and bright with no previous ownership marks. Faint differential toning to the endpapers corresponding to the dust jacket flaps confirms what the binding already testifies - that this copy has spent life jacketed. Spotting appears confined to the fore and bottom edges. The dust jacket is the correct - and increasingly elusive - first printing, confirmed by an unclipped front flap that retains the original price with no telltale mention of "2nd Impression" or "3rd Impression". Color is excellent, with almost no toning of the dove gray spine color. The jacket shows only fractional chipping at the spine ends and corners, a 4 cm closed tear to the bottom edge of the front panel, some wear to the hinges, and light soiling. Bibliographic reference: Cohen A97.2(I).a, Woods/ICS A40(aa), Langworth p.166. Item #004361

Price: $550.00

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