Item #006013 Frontiers and Wars, signed and dated by Churchill in the final year of his life. Winston S. Churchill.
Frontiers and Wars, signed and dated by Churchill in the final year of his life
Frontiers and Wars, signed and dated by Churchill in the final year of his life
Frontiers and Wars, signed and dated by Churchill in the final year of his life
Frontiers and Wars, signed and dated by Churchill in the final year of his life
Frontiers and Wars, signed and dated by Churchill in the final year of his life
Frontiers and Wars, signed and dated by Churchill in the final year of his life
Frontiers and Wars, signed and dated by Churchill in the final year of his life

Frontiers and Wars, signed and dated by Churchill in the final year of his life

London: Eyre & Spottiswoode, 1962. First edition, second and final printing. Hardcover. This is the first edition, second and final printing, signed and dated by Churchill in the final year of his life. In two lines in the center of the title page Churchill inked his name “Winston S. Churchill” and the year “1964”. The signature’s unsteady hand shows the toll of multiple strokes, compounded by the general infirmities of advanced age. Provenance is of note; this book was previously part of the famous Churchill collection of Malcolm S. Forbes Jr.

Churchill spent his final years as “a living national memorial" of the time he had lived and the Nation, Empire, and free world he had served. Before Churchill’s elaborate January 1965 state funeral at St. Paul’s cathedral in London, Churchill’s coffin passed through the countryside on a train. Oxford don Dr. A. L. Rowse recorded “The Western sky filled with the lurid glow of winter sunset; the sun setting on the British Empire.” It is Churchill’s early days in the late Victorian era of the Empire that are recounted in this book. Published in 1962, this is a single volume abridgement of Churchill's first four war books - The Story of the Malakand Field Force, The River War, London to Ladysmith, and Ian Hamilton's March - encapsulating his early career as soldier and war correspondent before he was first elected to Parliament in October 1900. It made fitting content for one of the last books featuring content by Churchill published during his long life. Moreover, the book was a handsome production. A large hardcover, it measures 9.5 x 6.25 inches (24.13 x 15.88 cm), 568 pages in length and illustrated with photos and maps.

Unfortunately, this handsome edition proved fragile, with the gray-blue binding easily sunned and the lovely illustrated white dust jacket quite prone to soiling and tears. This signed and dated copy is very good plus in a very good dust jacket. This second and final printing was issued in the same year as the first and is virtually identical, differing only in notation of the reprint on the title page verso and the addition of a red and gold headband. The cloth binding is square, clean, tight, and unfaded with sharp corners. We note only some wrinkling to the spine ends and trivial shelf wear to the bottom edges. The contents remain quite clean with no spotting or previous ownership marks. The red-stained top edge retains bright, uniform color only lightly sunned. The strikingly illustrated dust jacket is complete, unclipped and free of any loss, showing light wear to extremities, some creasing of the front flap, and very light soiling to the rear face and upper rear flap. The dust jacket is protected beneath a removable, clear, archival cover.

Of Churchill’s first four books, the publisher states, "they have now been edited into this single volume, and while they have necessarily been abridged, they show in full measure the splendid march of the narratives and the force of the author's style." The title of the work is derived from Churchill's compelling narrative in the first chapter of The Story of the Malakand Field Force: "The tale that I have to tell is one of frontier war..." Who performed the abridgment is not known. Though the book was published in Churchill's lifetime, it contains no new material, and Churchill was not involved in the preparation. Nonetheless, Richard Langworth rightly calls this book "the ideal introduction to Churchill the Victorian war historian." Langworth's appraisal accords with that of the publisher: "Throughout this volume there is that combination of sharp, personally observed detail with broad historical scope which is the author's hallmark. Reading it one feels with vivid clarity what it was like to be young and adventurous in those days. It is the portrait of a vanished age, as well as an account of some of Sir Winston Churchill's most exciting years told with his own incomparable vigour and zest."

Reference: Cohen A274.1.c, Woods/ICS A142/1(a.2), Langworth p.340. Item #006013

Price: $6,500.00

See all items in Winston Churchill
See all items by