My Early Life: A Roving Commission, wartime reprint with interesting provenance. Winston S. Churchill.
My Early Life: A Roving Commission, wartime reprint with interesting provenance
My Early Life: A Roving Commission, wartime reprint with interesting provenance
My Early Life: A Roving Commission, wartime reprint with interesting provenance
My Early Life: A Roving Commission, wartime reprint with interesting provenance
My Early Life: A Roving Commission, wartime reprint with interesting provenance
My Early Life: A Roving Commission, wartime reprint with interesting provenance
My Early Life: A Roving Commission, wartime reprint with interesting provenance
My Early Life: A Roving Commission, wartime reprint with interesting provenance

My Early Life: A Roving Commission, wartime reprint with interesting provenance

London: Macmillan & Co. Ltd., 1943. Hardcover. This is Churchill's extremely popular autobiography, covering the years from his birth in 1874 to his first few years in Parliament. First published in 1930, this is a 1943 wartime reprint (from first edition plates) by Macmillan, London. This copy is made more compelling by provenance. Per an elaborate printed grey plate affixed to the front pastedown, it was a gift from British industrialist Alexander Duckham to a customer in 1943. The presentation plate reads: “Written when he certainly had no conception of becoming 'Pater Patrice' I feel that Mr. Churchill’s autobiography up to 1901 will be an appropriate and acceptable token of goodwill to our customers on our 44th birthday anniversary, November 1943.” The plate is facsimile signed "Alexander Duckham". Alexander Duckham and Company was a blender of oils, founded in 1899, the second largest of the independent UK blenders after Castrol. By the mid 1930s it was sold in over thirty countries, mainly in Europe and British overseas territories. In 1969 Duckhams was acquired by BP after a prolonged takeover battle. Regarding this particular edition, Macmillan acquired the rights to several Churchill books after Thornton Butterworth went under in 1940. During the war years, these desirable reprints were published by Macmillan, bound in dark blue cloth and wrapped in attractive tan dust jackets. Thus this edition, reprinted from the first edition plates. This third Macmillan printing of 1943 is very good in a good dust jacket. The blue cloth binding is square, tight, and clean with bright spine gilt, minor wear to corners and spine ends and a slight vertical spine dimple. The contents are bright, clean, and crisp. Trivial spotting appears confined to endpapers and page edges. Previous ownership marks apart from the bookplate include occasional underlining in erasable red pencil on 20 pages spanning pages 167-343 and, on the rear pastedown, the sticker of “The Churchilliana Co. Chartwell West” of Sacramento, California. The sticker testifies that this copy belonged to Dalton Newfield (1918-1982), an American WWII veteran who returned from wartime Europe with both an English bride and an abiding respect for Churchill. He was not only the world’s first Churchill-specialist bookseller, but also the senior editor of the International Churchill Society’s journal, Finest Hour. The dust jacket is a bit soiled with wear to extremities, modestly toned spine, and price-clipped, with brown tape reinforcement on the verso. The dust jacket is protected in a removable, archival quality clear cover. One can hardly ask for more adventurous content than found in the pages of My Early Life. These were momentous and formative years for Churchill, including his time as a war correspondent and cavalry officer in theatres as varied as Cuba, northwest India, and sub-Saharan and southern Africa. This time contained a wide range of experiences in Churchill’s life. Not only was he developing as an author, publishing his first books, and making his first lecture tour of North America, but this was also the time of his capture and daring escape during the Boer War, which made him a celebrity and helped launch his political career. Churchill would take his seat in Parliament only weeks after the end of Queen Victoria's reign. My Early Life remains one of the most popular and widely read of all Churchill's books. And for good reason, as the work certainly ranks among the most charming and accessible of his many books. An original 1930 review likened it to a "beaker of Champagne." That effervescent charm endures; a more recent writer called it "a racy, humorous, self-deprecating classic of autobiography." To be sure, Churchill takes some liberties with facts and perhaps unduly lightens or over-simplifies certain events, but this is eminently forgivable and in keeping with the wit, pace, and engaging style that characterizes the book. Bibliographic reference: Cohen A91.6.c, Woods/ICS A37(d.3), Langworth p.139. Item #005767

Price: $140.00

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