Marlborough: His Life and Times, Volume IV. Winston S. Churchill.
Marlborough: His Life and Times, Volume IV
Marlborough: His Life and Times, Volume IV
Marlborough: His Life and Times, Volume IV
Marlborough: His Life and Times, Volume IV

Marlborough: His Life and Times, Volume IV

London: George G. Harrap & Co., Ltd., 1938. First edition, only printing. Hardcover. This is a jacketed British first edition, only printing of the fourth and final volume of Churchill's Marlborough. This final volume covers the years 1708 to 1722, chronicling the decline of Marlborough and the apparent frustration of his work. It is a substantial 671 pages with 24 illustrations, 39 maps and plans, and 1 document facsimile. This British first trade edition is a physically impressive production. Each volume measures 9.25 x 6.25 inches (23.5 x 15.9 cm) and is roughly 2 inches thick (5 cm). Each is bound in plum cloth with beveled edges, the Marlborough coat of arms in gilt on the front cover, and a gilt top edge. Moreover, each volume is profusely illustrated. Condition of this first edition, only printing of Volume IV is very good plus in a very good dust jacket. The plum cloth binding is clean and tight, the spine remaining nicely rounded despite a slight forward lean. Most notably, the spine is entirely unfaded, uncompromisingly bright. The contents are bright with a crisp, unread feel, no appreciable age-toning, and no previous ownership marks. Spotting, endemic to the edition, is mild, substantially confined to the prelims and fore edges. The dust jacket is complete, with no loss and the original lower front flap intact. The jacket spine is modestly spine toned, the jacket a little spotted and soiled overall, and there is mild wear to go with short closed tears to extremities, mostly the spine ends and corners. The jacket is protected beneath a clear, removable, archival cover. We seldom offer jacketed copies singly; this copy is suitable for helping to fill a superior, jacketed first edition set. Marlborough was initially conceived a full 40 years before publication of the final volume. Churchill originally considered the idea of the biography in 1898, returning to it in earnest in 1928. Marlborough ultimately took 10 years of research and writing and is the most substantial published work of Churchill's "wilderness years" in the 1930s, which he spent politically isolated, often at odds with both his own party and prevailing public sentiment. This decade saw Churchill pass into his sixties with his own future as uncertain as that of his nation. It is perhaps not incidental that Churchill’s great work of the 1930s was about a great ancestor. Churchill may have wondered more than once if the life history he was writing might ultimately eclipse his own. Richard Langworth says "To understand the Churchill of the Second World War, the majestic blending of his commanding English with historical precedent, one has to read Marlborough." The work was well received. Two months after Volume I was published, on 12 December 1933, T.E. Lawrence wrote to Churchill: “I finished it only yesterday. I wish I had not… The skeleton of the book is so good. Its parts balance and the main stream flows… Marlborough has the big scene-painting, the informed pictures of men, the sober comment on political method, the humour, irony and understanding of your normal writing: but beyond that it shows more discipline and strength: and great dignity. It is history, solemn and decorative." The fourth and final volume was published almost exactly one year before the outbreak of the Second World War and Churchill’s return to the Cabinet to reprise his First World War role as First Lord of the Admiralty. Twenty months after the final volume was published Churchill became wartime prime minister. Reference: Cohen A97.2(IV).a, Woods/ICS A40(aa), Langworth p.166. Item #005948

Price: $500.00

See all items in First Editions
See all items by