20 March 1934 holograph letter to American publishing mogul William Randolph Hearst from future Prime Minister Winston S. Churchill on Churchill’s Chartwell stationery. Winston S. Churchill.
20 March 1934 holograph letter to American publishing mogul William Randolph Hearst from future Prime Minister Winston S. Churchill on Churchill’s Chartwell stationery

20 March 1934 holograph letter to American publishing mogul William Randolph Hearst from future Prime Minister Winston S. Churchill on Churchill’s Chartwell stationery

Chartwell, Kent: 1934. This is a 20 March 1934 holograph letter to legendary American publishing mogul William Randolph Hearst from future Prime Minister Winston S. Churchill, inked entirely in Churchill’s hand on a single sheet of Churchill’s Chartwell stationery. Condition is very good, with trivial creasing and soiling to extremities and small, unobtrusive tape reinforcement to the blank verso at the horizontal fold from original posting. Churchill writes: “I am vy glad that you take an interest in my book about Marlborough. I should like you to have a copy of the Limited Edition of wh I have one or two: & I hope it may find a place in yr. library at the famous ranch, of which I have such pleasant, vivid & all too scanty memories. With all good wishes, Yours sincerely, Winston S. Churchill” The “Marlborough” refers to the first volume of Winston Churchill's monumental biography of his great ancestor, John Churchill, the first Duke of Marlborough, Churchill’s most substantial published work of the 1930s. The fourth and final volume was published exactly one year to the day before the outbreak of the Second World War and Churchill’s return to the Cabinet to head the Admiralty. The “Limited Edition” refers to the only signed, numbered, and finely bound limited issue of a first edition by Churchill – the 155 special sets the publisher had printed on special paper and sumptuously bound in orange morocco by Leighton Straker Ltd. The “famous ranch” is San Simeon (now known colloquially as “Hearst Castle”). In 1929 Hearst was Churchill's principal host during Churchill's only visit to California. Churchill spent four days at San Simeon and was then entertained by both Hearst and Marion Davies (Hearst’s mistress) in Los Angeles. William Randolph Hearst (1863-1951) took charge of his first paper – the San Francisco Examiner – at age 23. Hearst’s “frenetic energy and dedication”, his father’s mining fortune, and a “genuine feeling for the pleasures and fears of the urban working class” forged a media empire. “By the time Hearst turned fifty he owned seven dailies, five magazines, two news services, and a film company.” (ANB) When Churchill wrote this letter, Hearst was at his zenith, with 14 percent of all daily circulation in 1933 and nearly a quarter of the Sunday papers sold in 1935. (ANB) After spending the better part of “a week’s intimacy” with Hearst in California, Churchill wrote to his wife from California on 29 September 1929: "Hearst was most interesting to meet, & I got to like him - a grave simple child - with no doubt a nasty temper - playing with the most costly toys... complete indifference to public opinion, a strong liberal and democratic outlook, a 15 million daily circulation, oriental hospitalities, extreme personal courtesy (to us at any rate) & the appearance of a Quaker elder - or perhaps better a Mormon elder.” The relationship proved more than social. “Hearst asked Churchill to write for his newspapers, an assignment that was to provide him with an important additional source of income for the next decade.” (Gilbert, A Life, pp.493-94) Like many other aspects of Hearst’s temperament, the "liberal and democratic outlook" cited by Churchill proved dissolute. During Churchill's "wilderness years" in the 1930s, Churchill relentlessly warned against Nazi appeasement and the growing fascist threat - including in articles he wrote for Hearst's newspapers. At the same time, Hearst's media empire flirted with fascism; his newspapers carried paid-for columns by both Hitler and Mussolini, and Hearst opposed American involvement in the Second World War. Despite commercial, financial, and ethical overreach that grievously injured both his finances and reputation, “At the end of his life, Hearst still headed the largest news conglomerate in America…” and “…controlled 10 percent of daily circulation after World War II, a greater share than any newspaper group managed for forty years after his death.” (ANB). Item #004564

Price: $7,000.00

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