London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1910. Paperback. This is the 1910 vintage pulp paperback, the so-called "First Cheap Edition." My African Journey is Churchill's travelogue on Britain's possessions in East Africa, written while he was serving as Undersecretary of State for the Colonies.
In November 1908 Hodder and Stoughton published My African Journey as a book, which was a substantial 10,000 words longer than the serialized articles. In 1910, just sixteen months after the first edition, the publisher issued a so-called "First Cheap Edition" produced in vintage "pulp" style. The text is arranged in a 92-page, two-column format with a few pages of advertisements at either end. This handsome paperback edition features a color illustration on the front cover similar to that of the first edition, with Churchill in pith helmet with binoculars around his neck and a rifle in his hands standing beside a dead white rhinoceros. Some 20,000 copies were produced (80 percent sold domestically and 20 percent shipped for export), but given the fragility of the edition, few survive today. And those that do are usually in poor condition - befitting a century-old cheap paperback.
This copy is a typical survivor, showing expected age and wear. Overall condition is only fair. The front cover is substantially intact, though with losses at the corners, some notation at the upper right, creasing, and apparent glue reinforcement along the left edge, securing the front cover to the first page of advertisements within. The rear cover, with its period advertisement for “Vinolia Shaving Stick”, is substantially intact with wear and losses to extremities and pencil notation to the bottom edge. The spine is quite worn, most of the title and author’s name present, though with losses to the ends and along the front hinge. The contents are significantly toned, as is expected for pulp paper of this age, with loss to the blank margins at the fore edge corners and lower spine. We find no spotting and no previous ownership marks within. This copy is priced in accord with the compromised condition.
In the summer of 1907 Churchill left England for five months, making his way after working stops in southern Europe to Africa for "a tour of the east African domains." In early November, Churchill would kill a rhinoceros, the basis of the first edition’s striking front cover illustration. By now a seasoned and financially shrewd author, Churchill arranged to profit doubly from the trip, first by serializing articles in Strand Magazine and then by publishing a book based substantially upon them.
Reference: Cohen A27.8, Woods/ICS A12(b), Langworth p.85. Item #006465