Painting as a Pastime, the first edition, finely bound. Winston S. Churchill.
Painting as a Pastime, the first edition, finely bound
Painting as a Pastime, the first edition, finely bound
Painting as a Pastime, the first edition, finely bound
Painting as a Pastime, the first edition, finely bound
Painting as a Pastime, the first edition, finely bound

Painting as a Pastime, the first edition, finely bound

London: Odhams Press Limited, Ernest Benn Limited, 1948. First edition, first printing. Half leather. This is the British first edition, first printing of Painting as a Pastime, Churchill's essay about his famous hobby. This copy is finely bound in half leather, featuring dark red polished calf skin over marbled paper-covered boards with raised spine bands framed by blind rules, gilt decorated spine compartments, contrasting dark green morocco spine label with gilt print, silk head and tail bands, and blind rule transitions. The binding is by “J. S. Fellowes”, whose ticket is affixed to the lower left rear pastedown. The book is housed in a rigid card slipcase with dark red paper-covered boards with marbled paper ends (matching the marbled paper of the binding) Condition of the book is fine. We note no reportable wear or flaws to the binding, and the contents are exceptionally clean for the edition, with no spotting, toning, or previous ownership marks noted. The first printing contents are well-suited to fine binding, having been printed by the publisher on laid paper and accompanied by full-color illustrations. The slipcase is not especially attractive, but is fully intact with little shelf wear and minor staining to the sides. Painting as a Pastime had been printed in The Strand Magazine as early as 1921, but it was not until 1948 - nearly three decades after his first published words on the subject - that Churchill consented to a book about his hobby and passion. Soldier, writer, and politician, Churchill was perhaps an unlikely painter. Nonetheless he proved both a prolific and passionate one. Churchill first took up painting during the First World War. May 1915 saw Churchill scapegoated for failure in the Dardanelles and slaughter at Gallipoli and forced from his Cabinet position as First Lord of the Admiralty. By November 1915 Churchill was serving at the Front, leading a battalion in the trenches. But during the summer of 1915, as he battled depression, he rented Hoe Farm in Surrey, which he frequented with his wife and three children. One day in June, Churchill noticed his brother's wife, Gwendeline, sketching in watercolors. Churchill borrowed her brush and swiftly found solace in painting, which would be a passion and source of release and renewal for the remaining half century of his long life. Winston's wife Clementine had opposed the idea of her husband's opining in print on the subject, concerned that he might be belittled by professional painters and others. Clementine aside, it may be that Churchill's comparative reticence on the subject was to keep something personal in the great and turbulent sweep of his otherwise tremendously public life. He wrote, "Painting is a friend who makes no undue demands, excites to no exhausting pursuits, keeps faithful pace even with feeble steps, and holds her canvas as a screen between us and the envious eyes of Time or the surly advance of Decrepitude" (Painting as a Pastime, p. 13). Whatever Churchill's reason for penning and ultimately consenting to book publication of Painting as a Pastime complete with images of his paintings, the relatively few words he offered on the subject add something truly personal and different to the great body of his writing. Bibliographic reference: Cohen A242.1.a, Woods/ICS A125(a), Langworth p.288. Item #005804

Price: $650.00