New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1932. First U.S. edition, only printing. Hardcover. This jacketed example of the U.S. first edition, only printing belonged to legendary Hollywood filmmaker Cecil B. DeMille; his distinctive bookplate, affixed to the front pastedown, is the sole previous ownership mark.
Superlatives may fail to fully encompass the culture and industry-defining influence of Cecil Blount DeMille (1881-1959). DeMille was a founder of the Hollywood motion-picture industry, one of the most commercially successful producer-directors of his time, and one of the most influential filmmakers in history. Between 1914 and 1956, he made seventy feature films. In addition to his film credits and his own indelible presence in the industry, DeMille’s films created numerous iconic Hollywood stars. He also implemented numerous, industry-defining institutional, organizational, logistical, and technological innovations. DeMille was a founder of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences – the institution which continues to set standards of excellence in the film industry DeMille helped create with its annual Oscars Awards.
DeMille reportedly had an enormous and exceptional library. In 1924, noted French artist Paul Iribe (1883-1935), who was recruited by and collaborated with DeMille in Hollywood, designed DeMille's bookplate, featuring a phoenix.
Like DeMille, this book’s author proved no stranger to iconic fame.
Published in Britain as Thoughts and Adventures, this is one of the few Churchill first editions for which the U.S. edition features a different title than the British. Churchill's collection of 23 engaging essays on an incredibly wide variety of subjects has been called "The broadest range of Churchill's thought between hard covers" and reflects the two qualities that so characterize Churchill's life - a remarkable breadth of both mind and life experience.
The U.S. first edition text was photo-reproduced from the British first edition, but everything else about the edition differs markedly from its British counterpart. The bright red-orange coarse cloth binding of Amid These Storms matches the style of the 1930 U.S. first edition of A Roving Commission, but the dust jacket for Amid These Storms is strikingly unique. It features a full-length photo of Churchill in Flanders in 1916, wearing his French Poilu's helmet. This image appears on both the spine and front face. The orange color on the dust jacket and the red-orange binding proved exceptionally prone to sunning. Further, both the coarse cloth binding and the white fields of the dust jacket proved quite susceptible to soiling. Jacketed copies are scarce and truly bright copies are a rarity; most copies look like they spent time in the trenches with Churchill – or, as might imaginatively be the case here, on an exotic set with a director.
This copy is very good in a good dust jacket. The red-orange cloth binding is square and tight with only minor blemishes and soiling. The volume and its jacket have clearly spent life together, evidenced by sunning to the spine head in the exact shape of the dust jacket loss. The binding is otherwise bright and unfaded. The contents are clean, mildly age-toned but with no spotting. Differential toning to the endpapers corresponds to the dust jacket flaps, with additional offsetting from DeMille’s bookplate; these further indicate both that this book has spent life jacketed and that DeMille’s bookplate is original to the book. The dust jacket is neatly price-clipped, shows loss at the upper spine and lesser chipping to the spine ends and flap fold corners, and features two instances of inscrutable notation in red on the front face. Nonetheless, it is a respectable example, the orange spine panels only mildly faded, retaining strong hue and good shelf presence. The dust jacket is protected with a removable, clear, archival cover.
Reference: Cohen A95.2, Woods/ICS A39(ba), Langworth p.158. Item #007488