New York: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1900. First U.S. edition, only printing. Hardcover. This is the U.S. first edition, only printing, of Winston Churchill's fifth published book, the second and last of his two books based on his newspaper despatches sent from the front in South Africa. The U.S. first edition saw only a single printing. The precise number sold is unknown, but seems to be fewer than 1,500, considerably fewer than the British first edition, of which more than 5,000 first printing copies were issued. Like the U.S. first edition of London to Ladysmith, the U.S. first edition of Ian Hamilton's March is bound in pebble grain red buckram quite susceptible to blotchy wear and soiling, particularly on the spine.
This copy is in very good condition. The red cloth binding remains square and clean with sharp corners. Wear and blotchiness are minimal, with appreciable mottling only to the lower front cover, spine ends, and lower front joint. Although the spine and spine gilt are mildly dulled, the color remains uniformly strong, with minimal color shift between the covers and spine. The contents are notably clean. We find no spotting and no previous ownership marks. Mild age-toning is evident only at the otherwise clean fore and bottom edges. The gilt top edge remains bright, though modestly dust soiled. The frontispiece, tissue guard, and maps are all intact, including the folding map following the text. A cosmetic split starting at the half title gutter partially exposes the intact mull beneath but does not affect binding integrity; the text block remains firmly attached to the binding.
In October 1899, the second Boer War erupted in South Africa between the descendants of Dutch settlers and the British. As an adventure-seeking young cavalry officer and war correspondent, Churchill swiftly found himself in South Africa with the 21st Lancers and an assignment as press correspondent to the Morning Post. Not long thereafter - on 18 November 1899, Churchill was captured during a Boer ambush of an armored train. His daring escape less than a month later made him a celebrity and helped launch his political career.
Churchill's first Boer War book, London to Ladysmith via Pretoria, contained 27 letters and telegrams to the Morning Post written between 26 October 1899 and 10 March 1900 and was published in England in mid-May. Ian Hamilton's March completes Churchill's coverage of the Boer War, comprising 17 letters to the Morning Post, spanning 31 March through 14 June 1900. While London to Ladysmith via Pretoria had swiftly published Churchill's dispatches in the wake of his capture and escape, for Ian Hamilton's March "the texts of the originally published letters were more extensively revised and four letters were included which had never appeared in periodical form" (Cohen, A8.1.a, Vol. I, p.105). Churchill effected these revisions while on board the passenger and cargo steamer Dunottar Castle, which was requisitioned as a troop ship, en route home to England.
Churchill arrived on 20 July 1900 and spent the summer campaigning hard in Oldham, capitalizing on his war status and winning his first seat in Parliament on 1 October 1900 in the so-called "khaki election." The narrative in Ian Hamilton's March includes the liberation of the Pretoria prison camp where Churchill had been held and from which he had famously escaped. The title takes its name from General Sir Ian Hamilton's campaign from Bloemfontein to Johannesburg and Pretoria. Churchill would maintain a life-long friendship with Hamilton, who would be involved in the Gallipoli landings and to whom Churchill would sell his first country home. Published on 26 November 1900, the U.S. first edition was thus available for sale when Churchill arrived in New York on 8 December 1900 for his first North American lecture tour.
Reference: Cohen A8.2, Woods/ICS A5(ca), Langworth p.61. Item #007623