Item #007436 The Dream, copy Number 176 of 500. Winston S. Churchill.
The Dream, copy Number 176 of 500
The Dream, copy Number 176 of 500
The Dream, copy Number 176 of 500
The Dream, copy Number 176 of 500
The Dream, copy Number 176 of 500
The Dream, copy Number 176 of 500

The Dream, copy Number 176 of 500

Contoocook, New Hampshire: Churchill Literary Foundation, 1987. First and Limited Edition. Full leather. This is the first book publication, the finely bound limited first edition, copy Number 176 of 500 hand-numbered copies. The Dream is Churchill's revealing essay about a ghostly reunion with his father, Lord Randolph Churchill, in which Winston recounts the world events that have transpired since his father's death - without revealing his own role in them.

This edition’s binding proved prone to fragility at the joints. This copy is no exception. The binding is structurally sound, the covers still firmly attached, but the leather cover is splitting along both the lower and upper front cover joint. The binding is otherwise bright with sharp corners and only mild shelf wear to extremities. Apart from some mild staining to the lower front free endpaper verso, the contents are quite clean, crisp, and bright, with no previous ownership marks and bright gilt edges, the original ribbon marker intact.

Winston Churchill's father, Lord Randolph, died in January 1895 at age 45 following the spectacular collapse of both his health and political career. His son Winston was 20 years old. A few years later, Churchill would seek permission to write his father's biography and then spend two and a half years researching and writing - a major literary effort, but apparently 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, WSC, Companion Volume II, Part 1, p.438). Of course history and longevity would dramatically favor the son, but when Randolph died, Winston dwelt very much in his father's shadow, both emotionally and in terms of the political career to which he already aspired.

It is in this small, intimate piece of writing that we catch Churchill with that shadow on the eve of his 73rd birthday. According to Churchill, a "foggy afternoon in November 1947" found him in his "studio at the cottage down the hill at Chartwell" attempting to paint a copy of a damaged portrait of Lord Randolph when he turned around to find his father sitting in a red leather armchair, looking just as Churchill "had seen him in his prime." What ensued was a conversation about what had - and had not - changed since Randolph's time, ranging from trivialities and individual personalities to politics and the broad sweep of world affairs. Churchill, of course, never reveals his role in much of this history. Churchill's summary observations and appraisals to his father make a worthwhile study in themselves. But these are perhaps overshadowed by the emotional overtones, which psychologists and sentimentalists will doubtless continue to parse for years to come.

His family called it "The Dream." Churchill titled it simply "Private Article." Though he was seldom stinting with his words or their publication, Churchill locked the essay in a box where it remained, willed to his wife. Churchill died on 24 January 1965 - the same day his father died seventy years before. The Dream was first published a year after Churchill's death, on 30 January 1966, in the Sunday Telegraph and was subsequently included in The Collected Essays of Sir Winston Churchill (1976). However, The Dream was not published in book form until September 1987, four decades after it was written and more than 22 years after Churchill's death. Fortunately, the edition rose to the occasion of the long wait. Richard Langworth of the International Churchill Society presided over a lovely limited edition of 500 hand-numbered copies. This was an elaborate production, printed on acid-free archival paper and bound in padded red leather with gilt decoration and the Churchill arms blind-stamped on the front cover. All page edges are gilt, with head and foot bands, as well as a satin page marker and silk endpapers. Langworth contributed a worthy Foreword and Sal Asaro a color illustration from an oil painting commissioned by the publishers.

Reference: Cohen A288.1, Woods/ICS A147, Langworth p.357. Item #007436

Price: $200.00

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