London: Herbert Heather, Punch Magazine, 1916. Magazine, stapled. This original 20 September 1916 issue of Punch magazine features a full-page, illustrated advertisement for the forthcoming serial publication of “The War on Land and Sea” by Winston Churchill in The London Magazine. The visually and textually striking advertisement is a reminder that a quarter of a century before the Second World War endowed him with lasting fame, Churchill nearly lost both his political and corporeal life playing a uniquely critical, controversial, and varied role in the “War to end all wars”. The advertisement, paginated as “ix” following p.208 captures the 41-year-old Churchill at a nadir of his political life.
The magazine is in very good condition, complete, with no loss and the original illustrated wraps firmly secured by the original binding staples. The wraps are modestly toned with light wear to extremities. The contents, including the Churchill advertisement, are clean and comparatively bright. While we have not chosen to dismantle the magazine, the advertisement would lend itself well to framing.
Churchill had a special perspective on the First World War, having served both in the Cabinet and on the Front. Churchill served as First Lord of the Admiralty from 1911 until 1915, but after the failure in the Dardanelles, he was scapegoated and forced to resign. He spent part of his political exile as a lieutenant colonel leading a battalion in the trenches. Churchill returned from the Front to resume his duties in Parliament in May of 1916, just four months before this advertisement was published. He would not be exonerated by the Dardanelles Commission and return to the Cabinet until July 1917.
Fittingly, Churchill is portrayed at the top of the advertisement leaning vigorously over a rostrum, gesticulating with his fists clenched, while behind him is seated a seemingly skeptical audience of his parliamentary colleagues. The text of the advertisement further acknowledges - indeed capitalizes on - the sense of controversy surrounding Churchill: “When Winston Churchill speaks to the nation some applaud – some criticise – but all listen. His hold upon the imagination of his countrymen … has never been affected by any passing gust of popularity or ill-fortune. You may agree with him or disagree with him. But he commands your attention. He has made history and policy, and who so competent to expound them? … Freed from the immediate burden of office the former First Lord of the Admiralty… traces the great movements of the War on land and sea…” Churchill’s series of articles of articles was published in The London Magazine between October 1916 and March 1917. It is remarkable to consider that nearly a quarter of a century - including a change in political party, scores of political issues and fights, and nearly a decade of political isolation - lay between the Churchill in this advertisement and the Churchill who became prime minister during the next world war in May 1940. Item #005896