My African Journey
Norwalk, Connecticut: Easton Press, 1992. Hardcover. This is the Easton Press leather bound 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.
This edition features a full red leather binding with hubbed spine, and elaborate gilt decoration. The contents are printed on acid-neutral archival quality paper and are bound with all edges gilt, gold satin ribbon page marker, sewn pages, and moire silk endsheets. The 1908 first edition was notable, among other things, for being the only one of Churchill’s many books to contain photographs apparently taken by the author. This 1992 edition reproduces a number of the photographic illustrations from the first edition. Condition is as new. The binding is square, tight, and immaculately clean with sharp corners and no discernible wear. The contents are crisp, bright, and immaculately clean. We find no previous ownership marks and an original Easton Press bookplate remains laid in, unaffixed and as-yet unmarked with any owner name.
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." Churchill enjoyed a proper 19th Century bwana experience, traveling by special train provided by the Uganda Railway, receiving tribute from various chiefs, and shooting all manner of things. On 6 November Churchill wrote to his mother that at Simba "the first day I killed I Zebra, I wildebeeste, two hartebeeste, I gazelle, I bustard (a giant bird)." On the third day Churchill would kill a rhinoceros, the basis of the striking illustration on the front cover of the British first edition of his eventual book. Happily, there are more insightful and enduringly interesting experiences recounted in the book than just a catalogue of culled fauna.
From Aden and then to Mombassa, Churchill traveled up-country. Churchill's trip included stops at Nairobi, Lake Victoria, Kampala, the Ripon Falls, Gondokoro, and, after a journey by both train and steamer, Khartoum, followed by Wadi Halfa, Aswan, Cairo, and thence home.
By now a seasoned and financially shrewd author, Churchill arranged to profit doubly from the trip, first by serializing articles and then by publishing a book based substantially upon them. Nine articles on his African journey were published in Strand Magazine from March to November 1908. In November 1908 Hodder and Stoughton published My African Journey as a book. While Churchill's Strand articles make up the bulk of the book, the last two chapters plus an additional paragraph in Chapter X did not appear in Strand and the book is a substantial 10,000 words longer than the serialized articles.
Reference: Cohen A27.16. Item #006779