Item #007221 Lord Randolph Churchill, an exceptional set, one of only two known in the exceptionally rare dust jackets. Winston S. Churchill.
Lord Randolph Churchill, an exceptional set, one of only two known in the exceptionally rare dust jackets
Lord Randolph Churchill, an exceptional set, one of only two known in the exceptionally rare dust jackets
Lord Randolph Churchill, an exceptional set, one of only two known in the exceptionally rare dust jackets
Lord Randolph Churchill, an exceptional set, one of only two known in the exceptionally rare dust jackets
Lord Randolph Churchill, an exceptional set, one of only two known in the exceptionally rare dust jackets
Lord Randolph Churchill, an exceptional set, one of only two known in the exceptionally rare dust jackets
Lord Randolph Churchill, an exceptional set, one of only two known in the exceptionally rare dust jackets
Lord Randolph Churchill, an exceptional set, one of only two known in the exceptionally rare dust jackets
Lord Randolph Churchill, an exceptional set, one of only two known in the exceptionally rare dust jackets
Lord Randolph Churchill, an exceptional set, one of only two known in the exceptionally rare dust jackets
Lord Randolph Churchill, an exceptional set, one of only two known in the exceptionally rare dust jackets

Lord Randolph Churchill, an exceptional set, one of only two known in the exceptionally rare dust jackets

New York: Macmillan & Co., Ltd., 1906. First U.S. edition, only printing. Hardcover. This is the first U.S. edition, only printing, of Winston Churchill’s 1906 biography of his father, Lord Randolph Churchill, one of only two sets known to retain any portion of the extravagantly rare original dust jackets.

This U.S. edition is visually similar but aesthetically superior to its British counterpart, adding gilt top page edges and a lightly scored cloth binding. What was unknown to bibliographers and collectors until we discovered this set was that the U.S. publisher originally issued the set in dust jackets. Instead of the comparatively restrained, tan dust jackets of the British first edition, this set informs us that the U.S. dust jackets were strikingly different, printed in vivid orange on lighter orange stock, the entire field of the jackets printed with repeating rows of a stylized publisher’s device. This orange field is overprinted in black with the Churchill coat of arms on the lower right front face, title on the upper left front face, and title, author, volume, and publisher on the spine, all echoing the gilt stamping on the bindings beneath.

This set features extraordinary, near fine plus volumes, each beneath significant portions of their original dust jackets. The Volume I dust jacket retains the front flap, front face, spine, and two-thirds of the rear face. The spine is toned with a ragged, roughly vertical split with small attendant chips, shallow loss at the spine ends, and a partial split with some loss at the upper front flap fold. The Volume II dust jacket retains the front and rear flaps, full rear face, and fragments of the left side of the spine. Fortunately, the respective fragments together show the entirety of the jackets, and the faces and flap folds retain strikingly bright, unfaded orange hue. Each partial jacket is now protected beneath a clear, removable, archival cover backed with acid-neutral paper.

The bindings beneath the jackets are the cleanest, brightest examples we have ever seen. If you are inclined to be churlish and ungrateful, you might note bumps to the upper rear corner of Volume I and upper corners of Volume II, lesser shelf wear to all corners, and minor wrinkling and wear to the spine ends. The contents are magnificently bright, approaching pristine, with no spotting, no previous owner names, bright gilt top edges, and immaculately clean, untrimmed fore and bottom edges. There is a cosmetic split to Volume I front gutter, splitting the endpapers, exposing the intact mull beneath, but not affecting binding integrity.

The set is housed in a custom quarter Morocco goatskin Solander featuring a rounded and hubbed dark red leather spine with gilt-framed raised bands and twin dark orange Morocco spine labels over dark orange cloth sides and interior, which is further lined with marbled paper.

Winston Churchill’s biography of his father focuses on Lord Randolph's career in Parliament after 1880. Lord Randolph died in January 1895 at age 45 following the spectacular collapse of both his health and political career. Winston was 20 years old. When he first contemplated writing his father's biography Winston Churchill was an itinerant soldier and war correspondent who had yet to write his first book. The son still dwelt very much in his father's shadow, both emotionally and in terms of the political career to which he already aspired.
 
By the time Lord Randolph Churchill was published in 1906, the young Winston Churchill already had half a dozen books to his credit and half a decade in Parliament. By 1906 Churchill had already left his father's political party, prevailed in the same political battle that had terminated his father's career, and was just two years from his first Cabinet post. Nonetheless, that Churchill would be selected as biographer by Lord Randolph's executors was not a foregone conclusion. Churchill first entertained the idea soon after his father's death, but it was not until late in 1902 that he was appointed.
 
Churchill then spent two and a half years researching and writing. We can assume that it was not only a major literary effort, but an emotional one as well. Of the work, Churchill wrote to Lord Rosebery on 11 September 1902 "It is all most interesting to me - and melancholy too" (R. Churchill, Companion Volume II, Part 1, p.438). Churchill was criticized by some reviewers for overplaying his father's accomplishments. Nonetheless, the work was well received both as a frank portrayal of Randolph's extremes and as a showcase for the son's literary talent.

Reference: Cohen A17.2, Woods/ICS A8(ab), Langworth p.71. Item #007221

Price: $7,500.00

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