Item #007224 Liberalism and the Social Problem, a magnificent first edition in the best-known surviving example of the extravagantly rare dust jacket. Winston S. Churchill.
Liberalism and the Social Problem, a magnificent first edition in the best-known surviving example of the extravagantly rare dust jacket
Liberalism and the Social Problem, a magnificent first edition in the best-known surviving example of the extravagantly rare dust jacket
Liberalism and the Social Problem, a magnificent first edition in the best-known surviving example of the extravagantly rare dust jacket
Liberalism and the Social Problem, a magnificent first edition in the best-known surviving example of the extravagantly rare dust jacket
Liberalism and the Social Problem, a magnificent first edition in the best-known surviving example of the extravagantly rare dust jacket
Liberalism and the Social Problem, a magnificent first edition in the best-known surviving example of the extravagantly rare dust jacket
Liberalism and the Social Problem, a magnificent first edition in the best-known surviving example of the extravagantly rare dust jacket
Liberalism and the Social Problem, a magnificent first edition in the best-known surviving example of the extravagantly rare dust jacket
Liberalism and the Social Problem, a magnificent first edition in the best-known surviving example of the extravagantly rare dust jacket
Liberalism and the Social Problem, a magnificent first edition in the best-known surviving example of the extravagantly rare dust jacket
Liberalism and the Social Problem, a magnificent first edition in the best-known surviving example of the extravagantly rare dust jacket

Liberalism and the Social Problem, a magnificent first edition in the best-known surviving example of the extravagantly rare dust jacket

London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1909. First edition, first printing. Hardcover. This first edition, first printing of Churchill's third book of speeches (following Mr. Brodrick's Army and For Free Trade) is the best surviving copy, retaining the most complete known example of the extravagantly rare original dust jacket.

Liberalism and the Social Problem dates from Churchill's period as an ardent reformer and a dynamic young political force in the Liberal Party – three decades before he became the vaunted leader of Britain’s Conservative Party. This first edition was bound in a deep red cloth stamped in gilt on the spine and featuring Churchill's gilt-stamped facsimile signature on the front cover. The illustrated dust jacket is a striking period piece, the front face printed gray on thin, white stock with the front face featuring a fuller version of the same photo of Churchill that would appear on the front cover of the wraps edition of The People's Rights published a year later. This is an iconic image, encapsulating the brashly confident young Cabinet Minster. Only two substantially complete copies of the dust jacket are known to survive. This is the best.

Condition of the volume itself is better than near fine. The binding is simply magnificent – square, clean, and tight with sharp corners and only a little wrinkling to the spine ends and a touch of shelf wear to extremities. The deep red hue of the binding and spine and front cover gilt are peerless, compellingly bright. The contents are internal bright with a crisp, unread feel and no previous owner names. The only minor detraction is spotting, primarily confined to the page edges, pastedowns, and the preliminary and terminal leaves. The endpapers show differential toning, corresponding to the dust jacket flaps. The page edges show mild age-toning, the top edge light shelf dust. Laid in at the rear pastedown we find a publisher’s printed promotional sheet advertising two other contemporary titles – “The Political Situation by Dr. T. J. Macnamara, M.P.” and “The People’s Budget Explained by The Right Honourable D. Llloyd George, M.P.”

The mere existence of the jacket eclipses condition details. Nonetheless, jacket condition is very good. The dust jacket is substantially complete, with only shallow chip losses to a maximum depth of .25 inch (.64 cm) at the lower right rear face, the lower spine, the upper front joint, the upper front face, and the flap fold extremities. The edges also show some short, closed tears and associated wrinkling at the spine head and upper rear corner. There is no color shift between the covers and spine and the jacket is clean. The jacket is fitted with a clear, removeable, archival cover.

The book is housed in a handsome quarter Morocco goatskin Solander case by The Chelsea Bindery, the dark red leather hued complementary to the original binding. The rounded spine features gilt-decorated raised bands and three gilt-printed compartments, title and author on the upper spine, the publication date of 1909 at the spine heel. A gilt rule transition demarcates the border with the red buckram-covered boards. The interior is felt-lined. Condition of the case is fine, with no appreciable wear or soiling.

In 1904, Churchill quit the Conservative Party and joined the Liberals, beginning a dynamic chapter in his political career that saw him champion progressive causes and be branded a traitor to his class. In 1909, when Liberalism and the Social Problem was published, Churchill, in his mid-30s, had just been promoted to a Cabinet position. His 21 speeches in this volume address a broad range of social issues still topical today, with the young Churchill trying to chart a progressive course between reactionary conservatism and radical socialism. This was a balance the Liberal Party ultimately failed to sustain; Churchill would remain a member of the Liberal Party until their ruinous electoral defeat in the 1922 General Election. Churchill rejoined the Conservatives in 1924.

Reference: Cohen A29.1.a, Woods/ICS A15(a), Langworth p.92. Item #007224

Price: $24,000.00

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