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

Marlborough: His Life and Times, Volume III

London: George G. Harrap & Co. Ltd., 1936. First edition, only printing. Hardcover. This is a jacketed British first edition, only printing of the third volume of Churchill's Marlborough. This third volume carries the story forward to the end of the campaign of 1708. The volume is a substantial 608 pages with 24 illustrations, 2 document facsimiles, 3 color maps, and 64 other maps and plans. 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. Unfortunately, the plum cloth bindings of Volumes I-III proved highly susceptible to sunning. (A different, more fade-resistant dye was used in Volume IV). Without the dust jackets, Volumes I-III are nearly always spine faded, and the jackets are increasingly elusive. Condition of this first edition, only printing of Volume III is just good in a good dust jacket, but scarce thus nonetheless. The plum cloth binding is square and tight, mildly scuffed but nonetheless bright. The cloth is unfaded except for spots at the spine ends corresponding to small dust jacket losses. The binding gives the faint impression of mild moisture exposure to the front cover fore edge, but with no loss of color. The contents have a crisp, unread feel and show no spotting beyond a hint to the end sheets. We do note modest moisture staining affecting the upper right corner of the preliminary leaves. The sole previous ownership mark is a name in pencil on the front free endpaper recto. The fore and bottom edges show age-toning, the gilt top edge is a bit dulled. The dust jacket is unclipped, retaining the original lower front flap price. Losses are confined to the spine ends and corners, the most notable being at the upper rear face. The jacket is a bit soiled overall, with toning and staining to the spine. The jacket is protected beneath a clear, removable, archival cover. 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(III).a, Woods/ICS A40(aa), Langworth p.166. Item #005968

Price: $250.00

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