London: George Newnes, Ltd., 1931. First edition. Periodical. This February, 1931 issue of The Strand Magazine (Vol. LXXXI, No. 482) contains the first appearance of Winston Churchill’s essay “Men Who Have Influenced or Impressed Me”, published prior to its inclusion in Thoughts and Adventures. The subject characters of the piece include Churchill’s father, Lord Randolph Churchill, Bourke Cochran, Sir Francis Mowatt, Lord Hugh Cecil, and David Lloyd George. The net effect is something between My Early Life and Great Contemporaries, combining vital, insightful sketches of the subject personalities with glimpses into the intellectual, political, and psychological formation of the author.
Equally compelling, the essay illuminates the sustaining clarity and independence that carried Churchill throughout his “Wilderness Years” of the 1930s, preceding the purpose and redemption of his wartime premiership. Churchill writes: “In broad view, large principles, a good heart, high aims, a firm faith, we may find some charts and a compass for our voyage…. As we lean over the stern of the ship and watch the swirling eddies in our wake, the most rigid and resolute of us must feel how many currents are playing their part in the movements of the vessel that bears us onwards… I select from Memory’s album a few snap-shots, thumb-nail sketches or fading daguerreotypes of people who have impressed me in the past.”
Not only is this the first published appearance of the article, but it is also the only appearance under this title. The article, prominently advertised in a red banner on the front cover, fills pages 132-141 and is generously illustrated with eight portrait images, a mix of photographs, sketches, and paintings. Condition of the magazine is very good plus, particularly considering the age and inherent perishability of the format. The covers remain complete and firmly attached with only a small crease to the lower, front cover. The spine is likewise complete and free of creasing. We note light wear to extremities and a forward lean. The contents are clean with no spotting or previous ownership marks. “Men Who Have Influenced or Impressed Me” was subsequently published in Collier’s as “Philosophers and Friends” and, in 1932’s Thoughts and Adventures, as the chapter titled “Personal Contacts”.
Reference: Cohen C346a, Woods C162. Item #005046