The River War
Norwalk, Connecticut: Easton Press, 2005. Full leather. This is the handsome, Easton Press, leather bound edition of Churchill's second book. The River War recounts the experiences and reflections of a young Winston Churchill – then still just an itinerant cavalry officer and war correspondent - concerning British involvement in the Sudan.
This copy is in fine condition, immaculate inside and out. Laid in is the publisher’s “Collector’s Notes” leaflet about The River War as an installment in the publisher’s “The Leather-Bound Library of Military History” series. The only previous ownership mark is an Easton Press bookplate affixed to the front pastedown.
In 1883, Mahdist forces of messianic leader Mohammed Ahmed overwhelmed the Egyptian army of British commander William Hicks and Britain ordered withdrawal from the Sudan. In 1885, General Gordon famously lost his life in a doomed defense of Khartoum, where he had been sent to lead evacuation of Egyptian forces. Though the Mahdi died that same year, his theocracy continued until 1898, when General Kitchener reoccupied the Sudan.
With Kitchener was a young Winston Churchill, who participated in decisive defeat of the Mahdist forces and the last "genuine" cavalry charge of the British army during the battle of Omdurman in September 1898. Writing about the British campaign in the Sudan, Churchill - a young officer in a colonial British army - is unusually sympathetic to the Mahdist forces and critical of Imperial cynicism and cruelty. This work offers us the candid perspective of the future 20th century icon from the distinctly 19th century battlefields where Churchill learned to write and earned his early fame. The text is arresting, insightful, powerfully descriptive, and of enduring relevance.
Easton Press publications are sought for their production values. Standard to all volumes are full leather binding, gilt lettering and decoration, all edges gilt, satin ribbon page markers, acid neutral paper, sewn pages, and endsheets of moire fabric. This edition is bound in blue-gray leather with a hubbed spine and elaborate gilt decoration on the spine and covers. Item #006942