London: George Newnes, Ltd., 1936. First edition. Periodical. This October, 1936 issue of The Strand Magazine (Vol. XCI, No. 550) contains the first published appearance of Winston Churchill’s portrait of Irish politician Charles Stewart Parnell (1846-1891). Here Churchill paints a picture of the life and career of one of the most powerful politicians of the Victorian era as a “tale which constituted all the elements of a Greek tragedy.” Parnell had a long and successful career in Irish politics; at his height, Parnell as leader of the Irish Parliamentary Party was nearing an agreement on Irish Home Rule with Prime Minister Gladstone. However, Parnell was brought down by the scandal catalyzed by the revelation of a longstanding affair with a married woman, Katherine O’Shea.
Churchill is sympathetic, writing, “as he had previously sacrificed all for Ireland, so, when the moment of choice came, he sacrificed all, even Ireland, for love.” In 1936 a politician driven out of office would have been of understandable interest for Churchill. The 1930s were a decade out of power and out of favor that would be known later as Churchill’s "wilderness years", during which his persistent warnings and predictions about Nazi Germany went substantially unheeded.
Churchill’s article, prominently advertised with a colorful illustration of its author filling the front cover, spans pages 600-610 and is illustrated with cartoons and drawings depicting Parnell’s life. This magazine approaches very good condition, particularly considering the inherent fragility of the format. The covers are bright, clean, complete, and firmly attached, with only minor wear to the extremities and a crease to the lower front corner. The spine is bright and legible with some minor wear overall and one inch of loss to the head. The contents are complete, clean, and bright with no markings or spotting. A small typewritten piece of paper is tipped onto the first page of advertisements. This essay would be later collected in the 1938 revised and expanded edition of Great Contemporaries at pages 345-359.
Reference: Cohen C509, Woods C315. Item #005036