9 East 40th Street, New York: TIME, Incorporated, 1923. First edition. Paperback. Here is the very first appearance of Winston S. Churchill on the cover of TIME Magazine, 14 April 1923, Vol.I, No. 7. In the issue, Churchill's first volume of The World Crisis is reviewed.
This is a very good example of a quite scarce and desirable issue, clean, intact, and very nearly complete. The covers remain attached both to one another and to the contents, with both original binding staples intact. The lower binding staple shows some surface rust, we note fractional chipping at the bottom left corners of both covers, a tiny chip to the front cover fore edge, two roughly circular moisture stains (not affecting the contents) at the lower left of the rear cover, and minor light creasing to the upper right corner. The covers are modestly age-toned, but otherwise quite clean, particularly the signature front cover. The contents show no flaws other than modest age-toning.
The striking front cover portrait renders this scarce original magazine well suited to framing and display. Hence we have it framed in a double-glazed (glass on both sides) 13.875 x 17 inch (35.2 x 43.2) dark brown wood frame. The double-glazed frame allows both the front and rear covers to be viewed and for the magazine to be readily removed from the frame if desired.
TIME was then a brand-new publication with small circulation; the very first issue had been published just over a month before on 3 March 1923. This issue of TIME features a review of the first volume of The World Crisis under the header “’Winnie’ Recharts His Hectic Course as Suzerain of the Seas”. Churchill’s first volume had just been published on 6 April 1923. But more to the point for collectors, this issue is an elusive prize among Churchill collectors for its cover.
At the time, Churchill was briefly out of office, having lost his Dundee seat in 1922. Indeed the TIME review begins “Now on the outside of politics, Winston Churchill gives full vent to his literary genius.” In 1924 he would rejoin the Conservatives, be reelected to Parliament, and become Chancellor of the Exchequer.
At the time, Churchill’s First World War experience still substantially defined him. Churchill was in a special position to write the history of the First World War, which nearly cost him both his political and corporeal lives. First Lord of the Admiralty from 1911 until 1915, after the Dardanelles disaster, Churchill was scapegoated and forced to resign. He spent political exile as a lieutenant colonel of a battalion in the trenches. Before war's end, Churchill was exonerated and rejoined the Government, foreshadowing the political isolation and restoration he would experience two decades later leading up to the Second World War. Nonetheless, the stigma of the Dardanelles lingered. Hence Churchill had more than just literary and financial compulsion to write his history.
Here, his first volume of that history is well-received: “His book, except for some too technical pages, is one of the most outstanding of its kind…” It is particularly fascinating to observe that in 1923, more than 17 years before he would become wartime prime minister, his voice had already become an adjective: “The style is straightforward, easy, Churchillian – a style, be it said, that in the domain of politics more than once caused no considerable alarm among his colleagues.”. Item #006093