London & Toronto: William Heinemann, Ltd., 1934. First edition, first printing. Hardcover. This inscribed presentation copy of the first edition of the First World War memoirs of French painter Paul Maze is noteworthy in multiple respects. The text for the author’s singular perspective. The edition for featuring a compelling and contemplative introduction by Winston S. Churchill, Maze’s friend and fellow painter. This copy for a warm inscription by the author and an additionally inscribed and signed presentation card.
The inscription, inked in black in five lines on the half title, reads: “For [indecipherable] Broadwood, | whose help and kindness | the author will remember | Paul Maze”. An additional signed note laid in, inked in black in nine lines on a 4.5 x 3.5 in. (11.4 x 8.9 cm) piece of heavy card, reads: “Dear Mr. Broadwood - | Here is a small token | of my appreciation of your | kindness & help with my | book – | yours very sincerely | Paul Maze. | Star Hotel | 14 Chelsea Embankment.” The identity of “Mr. Broadwood” is unverified.
Also laid in are two newspaper clippings, the first a lengthy original review of the book from the 21 October 1934 issue of the Sunday Times, the second an “In Memoriam” notice dated 11 October 1979 detailing the who’s who attendance at Maze’s funeral service.
Condition of this inscribed presentation copy of the first printing is good plus in a good plus dust jacket. The strikingly illustrated binding – khaki cloth with tricolor bands spanning the upper and lower covers and spine – is tight and clean with sharp corners and just light shelf wear to hinges and extremities. The binding has a mild forward lean and the white bands show a little mottling, corresponding to spotting on the dust jacket. The contents retain a bright appearance. Spotting to the page edges, most pronounced to the fore edge, is light within, primarily confined to the preliminary blanks and half title. Differential toning to the endpapers corresponding to the dust jacket flaps corroborates that this presentation copy has spent life jacketed. Some smudging to the upper right front free endpaper is ostensibly from a dirty eraser. This is the only evidence of previous ownership apart from the author’s inscription and note card. The dust jacket, mirroring the binding in design and hues, is unclipped, retaining the lower front flap price. There is intermittent shallow chipping along the top edge to a maximum depth of .375 in. (.95 cm), lesser, fractional chipping to the bottom edge, spotting to the white bands and white flap fold borders, and mild, uniform spine toning. The jacket is protected beneath a clear, removable, archival cover.
Paul Lucien Maze (1887-1979) was regarded as one of the great artists of his generation and “learned the rudiments of painting from family friends that included Renoir, Monet, Dufy and Pissarro.” In August 1914, Maze found himself admiring British troops disembarking at Le Havre and, improbably, asked to be taken to the front with them. More astonishingly still, his request was granted. Thus began an odyssey that saw Maze spend the majority of the war accompanying, supporting, keenly observing, sketching, and admiring the British Army. A Frenchman in Khaki is his account.
“He got to know and sketch every mile of the blood-stained soil of France and Flanders occupied by the British army.” (Sunday Times review, 21 October 1934) The dust jacket’s front and rear flaps feature an extended excerpt from Churchill’s Introduction, which praises not only Maze’s unique perspective and proven courage, but also says of Maze that he “perceived the beauties of light and shade, of form and colour, of which even the horrors of war cannot rob the progress of the sun.”
On the front in 1916, Maze met Churchill, who was serving as a Lieutenant Colonel in the trenches during his political exile following the Dardanelles disaster. Churchill had only recently discovered painting, a passion Maze encouraged as both a close friend and mentor for the rest of Churchill’s life.
Reference: Cohen B56, Woods B25. Item #007033