London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1910. First edition, first issue, first state, Daily News binding. Paperback. This is an exceptionally rare variant binding of the first edition, first issue, first state of this early collection of Churchill's speeches. The People's Rights was most commonly issued in an exceptionally perishable form, in vividly hued, thin, yellow-orange paper wraps (with a halftone photo of Churchill on the cover) and contents printed on cheap, pulp paper. Consequently, few copies survive, and significant wear, losses, and general deterioration are common to those copies that endure.
Churchill’s bibliographer, Ronald Cohen, informs us that, in addition to the normal wraps copies, some were issued in partnership with various regional newspapers. “There are also no fewer than five local newspaper issues in paper wrappers (of the Daily News, Sheffield Independent, North Mail, Yorkshire Observer and Liverpool Daily Post & Liverpool Mercury).” (Cohen, Vol. I, p.176, A31) All five are quite scarce. Listed first among these by Churchill’s Bibliographer is this first issue Daily News binding. On the lower front cover, the publisher’s name and price are printed smaller, leaving room between for “The Daily News” printed in elaborate script with “London” printed to the left and “Manchester” printed to the right.
The Manchester-based Daily News – founded by Charles Dickens in 1846 to voice liberal views - was relevant to Churchill’s early political career. Manchester North-West was the first constituency that elected Churchill to Parliament as a Liberal. It was also the briefest constituency of Churchill’s long political career. He held the seat for only two years – from 1906 to 1908 – before being bucked in a by-election when he was first appointed to the Cabinet at the age of 33. The Daily News remained only a bit longer. In 1901 – the year Churchill took his first seat in Parliament - Quaker chocolate manufacturer George Cadbury bought the newspaper. Under his ownership, the paper advocated for progressive causes and opposed the Boer War – in which Churchill fought and from which he earned both his early fame and his first election to Parliament. Two years after this book was published bearing its name, The Daily News merged with the Morning Leader, with successive mergers in later years.
This copy of the first Daily News issue of The People’s Rights is notable, not only for extreme rarity, but also for being unusually well preserved for the edition. Moreover, this copy is both first issue and first state of the wrappers issue of the first edition, identified thus by mispagination at p.71 and presence following the text of an Appendix and Index (rather than a second Appendix).
Condition is very good indeed for a notoriously fragile, pulp paperback well over a century old. The illustrated front wrap, with print unique to this “Daily News” issue, remains bright, respectably clean, firmly attached, and nearly complete, with only negligible wear and fractional chipping to extremities. The rear cover is likewise bright and firmly attached with only light soiling, though with various diagonal creases at the corners and an irregular, 1.75 x .75 inch (4.45 x 1.91 cm) loss at the lower left corner. The spine shows the usual wrinkling (conforming to the page gatherings beneath) but is both bright, with no color shift between the covers and spine, and substantially complete, with only fractional chipping along the hinges and no appreciable loss at the spine ends. All of the spine print remains clearly legible with the sole exception of the “S” in “STOUGHTON”. The contents are toned, as is inevitable with the cheap pulp paper, but nonetheless complete, with none of the common chipping to the page edges. Further, we find no spotting and no previous ownership marks. The book is protected with a removable, clear, mylar cover, and housed in a maroon buckram chemise with ribbon pull nested within a matching maroon buckram slipcase. The stout slipcase shows superficial shelf wear.
Reference: Cohen A31.4.a, Woods/ICS A16(aa), Langworth p.97. Item #006852