London: George Newnes, Ltd., 1930. First edition. Periodical. This December, 1930 issue of The Strand Magazine (Vol. LXXX, No. 480) contains the first British appearance of Winston Churchill’s portrait of French Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau (1841-1929), published prior to its inclusion in Great Contemporaries (1937). The biographies of Churchill and Clemenceau contain many interesting parallels. As young men both acted as journalists in foreign wars, Churchill on multiple continents in various colonial conflicts and Clemenceau in America writing on the Civil War. Both men served long careers in politics punctuated by a decade-long period of estrangement dedicated to prolific writing. And both men reached their political height as Prime Minister in the twilight of their lives – Churchill at 65 and Clemenceau at 76 – while their countries were in the darkest days of war and out of which they would lead their people to victory.
In this article Churchill gives a biography of the recently deceased former Prime Minister and recalls his personal interactions with the man. Churchill’s interest in a politician who rose to the highest office out of political isolation is understandable. For Churchill, the 1930s were a decade out of power and out of favor that would be known later as his "wilderness years", during which his persistent warnings and predictions about Nazi Germany went substantially unheeded. One decade later Churchill’s words could well be applied to himself when he, like Clemenceau, “armed with the experience and loaded with the hatreds of half a century, was called to the helm of [his country] in the worst period of the War.”
Also featured in this issue are the first British publication of Arthur Conan Doyle’s short story “The Last Resource” and a portion of the serialization of P.G Wodehouse’s novel Big Money. Churchill’s article, advertised on a banner spanning the magazine’s front cover, fills pages 582-91 and is illustrated with photographs, drawings, and political cartoons from throughout Clemenceau’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 light soiling overall. The spine is complete and legible with light wear largely confined to the head and foot. The contents are complete, clean, and bright with no markings or spotting. This article was previously published in America in Collier’s, November, 1930 and was later collected in a slightly edited form in 1937’s Great Contemporaries at pages 301-315.
Reference: Cohen C343b, Woods C157. Item #005038