THE STORY OF THE MALAKAND FIELD FORCE

1898 (Cohen A1) (Woods A1)

Churchill’s first book chronicles true-life military adventures drawn from newspaper dispatches filed by the 22-year-old correspondent while serving on India’s Afghanistan-bordering Northwest Frontier under Major-General Sir Bindon Blood. Wrenching to read how little has changed in this region since Churchill’s time. The First Edition is easily distinguished by its apple-green cloth binding but Malakand is prized by collectors in almost any edition.

THE RIVER WAR

1899 (Cohen A2) (Woods A2)

More blood and guts reportage by young Winston, the war correspondent. His second book delivers a brilliant history of British involvement in the Sudan and an account of the fierce campaign for its reconquest that Churchill himself participated in and, in many significant ways, disapproved of. Originally published in two large, lavish and, today, extremely rare volumes. All subsequent editions were significantly abridged.

SAVROLA

1900 (Cohen A3) (Woods A3)

Churchill’s first and only novel, Savrola is a statement of personal and political philosophy delivered as a fictional adventure yarn. U.S. publication preceded the British issue by roughly ten days, rendering the American first edition the true first.

LONDON TO LADYSMITH VIA PRETORIA

1900 (Cohen A4) (Woods A4)

The first of two Boer War volumes derived from young Winston’s newspaper dispatches as a war correspondent in South Africa, London to Ladysmith features the thrilling account of his escape from the Boers, an escape that would help launch his political career. The First English edition was published elaborately in fawn-colored cloth stamped with a striking cover illustration of the infamous armored train that Churchill was defending when he was captured. The American edition is an unadorned, though still handsome, red cloth binding with gilt lettering.

Ian Hamilton's March

IAN HAMILTON'S MARCH

1900 (Cohen A5) (Woods A5)

The second of Churchill’s Boer War volumes, Ian Hamilton’s March concludes the narrative begun in London to Ladysmith and includes the triumphant liberation of his former-POW campmates in Pretoria, South Africa.

MR. BRODRICK'S ARMY

1903 (Cohen A10) (Woods A6)

The holy grail of Churchill book collecting, this 102-page softcover volume collects six emphatic Parliamentary speeches delivered by the then-29-year-old MP opposing plans for the expansion of England’s peacetime army. Mr. Brodrick was published by Arthur L. Humphreys, General Manager Hatchard’s, the renowned bookshop that still stands at number 187 Piccadilly in London. Hatchard’s, which, by 1903, already had a long history as a publisher of pamphlets both political and otherwise, would go on to issue Churchill’s next speech compendium, For Free Trade, in an identical format to Mr. Brodrick, bound in unprepossessing red printed wraps that did not age gracefully. The surviving handful of Brodrick copies (as few as 20 accounted for) today constitute the stuff of collectors’ dreams.

LORD RANDOLPH CHURCHILL

LORD RANDOLPH CHURCHILL

1906 (Cohen A17) (Woods A8)

Churchill’s first biographic work is an impassioned two-volume biography written in defense of his maligned father’s posthumous reputation. Forced largely on Lord Randolph’s political career, the book was subsequently issued in an unabridged one-volume edition and is a bulwark of any Churchill collection.

For Free Trade

FOR FREE TRADE

1906 (Cohen A18) (Woods A9)

In tandem with Mr. Brodrick’s Army, For Free Trade has always been the holy grail of Churchill collecting. A small, 136-page, softcover collection of nine speeches delivered on the titular subject by Churchill as a 31-year-old MP for Manchester, For Free Trade was published (at 1 shilling [25c]) by Arthur L. Humphreys, General Manager of Hatchard’s, renowned bookshop that still stands at number 187 Piccadilly in London. Hatchard’s already had a long history as a publisher of pamphlets both political and otherwise, including Churchill’s earlier speech compendium, the aforementioned Mr. Brodrick’s Army, which Humphreys and Hatchard’s had brought out three years prior. Identical in format and binding to Mr. Brodrick’s Army and just as precious, For Free Trade may in fact be the rarer of the two volumes today. Both books were produced in small numbers, bound in unprepossessing red printed wraps that did not age gracefully. Again, the surviving handful of copies of For Free Trade (as few as 12-15 accounted for) today constitute the stuff of collectors’ dreams.

MY AFRICAN JOURNEY

MY AFRICAN JOURNEY

1908 (Cohen A27) (Woods A12)

Big game hunting with young Churchill as guide,  My African Journey is a travelogue of Britain’s East African possessions written by the then-Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies. The first English edition is particularly coveted for its handsome cover woodcut of the author posed beside a trophy rhinoceros. The more plainly-bound American edition, which utilized English first edition sheets, has no woodcut on its brownish-red buckram cover yet is a far rarer volume.

LIBERALISM AND THE SOCIAL PROBLEM

LIBERALISM AND THE SOCIAL PROBLEM

1909 (Cohen A29) (Woods A15)

Churchill’s first widely-published hardcover collection of political speeches, this volume expresses “radical” liberal views that were quite advanced for his time, prefiguring the modern welfare state that Churchill and David Lloyd George would later set in motion. Though the burgundy clothbound English edition was handsomely produced, with Churchill’s signature in gilt across the front board, the American edition, similarly bound but without the gilt signature, is rarer. However, it is increasingly scarce in either edition.

THE PEOPLE'S RIGHTS

THE PEOPLE'S RIGHTS

1910 (Cohen A31) (Woods A16)

This volume collects six speeches from the 1910 General Election rebuking the Tories for their rejection of “The People’s Budget.” Originally published in simultaneous hard and softcover editions, the book is now rarely encountered in either format. In fact, this is probably the third rarest Churchill book afterMr. Brodrick’s Army and For Free Trade. It was reprinted twice in the 1970s, though even these reprints are scarce today.

THE WORLD CRISIS

THE WORLD CRISIS

1923-1931 (Cohen A69) (Woods A31)

Churchill’s highly subjective history of the First World War is comprised of five volumes (in six books) written over eight years. The initial volumes were first published in the U.S. (by a matter of days), making the American edition the true first edition. Volume I (1911-1914) and Volume II (1915) were published in 1923. Volume III (1916-1918 ) was published in two parts in 1927 (hence the five/in six volumes ultimate format). Volume IV (The Aftermath 1918-1928) was published in 1929; and Volume V (The Unknown War/Eastern Front) in 1931. A one-volume abridgment by the author was soon issued. Most subsequent re-issues have been incomplete, abridged, or otherwise condensed versions of the original text.

My Early Life

MY EARLY LIFE

1930 (Cohen A91) (Woods A37)

Arguably Winston Churchill’s most entertaining book and an excellent entry point into his writing, this memoir of youth and wayward school boyhood is the only volume of personal memoirs Churchill ever wrote. Published in the U.S. under the title A Roving Commission, the book has been endlessly re-issued in a variety of editions. True first editions, however, remain quite rare.

India

INDIA

1931 (Cohen A92) (Woods A38)

This slender compilation of speeches about Gandhi and “Our Duty in India” was simultaneously published in especially handsome hardcover and softcover editions, both much prized today by collectors.

THOUGHTS AND ADVENTURES

THOUGHTS AND ADVENTURES

1932 (Cohen A95) (Woods A39)

This terrific anthology of Churchill essays and magazine articles from the 1920s and early 1930s on a wide variety of subjects includes the well-known essay “Painting as a Pastime.” It was issued in the U.S. under the title Amid These Storms.

MARLBOROUGH: HIS LIFE & TIMES

MARLBOROUGH: HIS LIFE & TIMES

1933-1938 (Cohen A97) (Woods A40)

Marlborough is a majestic biography of John Churchill, the first Duke of Marlborough; soldier, statesmen, and hard-headed Churchillian ancestor. Initially published in England as a lush four-volume set and then as a somewhat less deluxe six-volume set in America, it was subsequently issued in a unabridged two-volume edition and a single-volume abridgment.

GREAT CONTEMPORARIES

GREAT CONTEMPORARIES

1937 (Cohen A105) (Woods A43)

This volume comprises twenty-one penetrating profiles of political and literary luminaries. An utter delight to read; beautifully written and brutally opinionated (Hitler comes off just a bit better than George Bernard Shaw), the ensuing “Revised” edition (and most future reprints) added four new profiles: Lord Fisher, Charles Stewart Parnell, Lord Baden-Powell and President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

ARMS AND THE COVENANT

ARMS AND THE COVENANT

1938 (Cohen A107) (Woods A44)

Churchill’s initial alarms against Hitler and the Nazis are collected here in forty-one adamant pre-war speeches, 1936-1938, edited by his son Randolph. Published in the U.S. under the title While England Slept, the book, according to FDR, sat on his nightstand in the White House.

STEP BY STEP 1936-1939

STEP BY STEP 1936-1939

1939 (Cohen A111) (Woods A45)

A chilling anthology of Churchill’s prescient newspaper pieces about the rising Nazi threat, the included pieces were written for the Evening Standard and Daily Telegraph commencing in 1936 with Hitler’s reoccupation of the Rhineland, through the final months before the declaration of war in 1939.

THE WAR SPEECHES

1941-1946 (Cohen A142-A227) (Woods A66-A114)

Seven individual speech compilation volumes were published yearly in the U.K. and in the U.S., beginning in 1941, under the following titles: Into Battle (1938-1940 speeches; published in the U.S. as Blood, Sweat and Tears), The Unrelenting Struggle (1940-1941), The End of the Beginning (1942), Onwards to Victory (1943), The Dawn of Liberation (1944), Victory (1945), and Secret Session Speeches (Various Dates). Unlike the English editions, which were all published by one publisher, Cassell, the American series was initiated by G.P. Putnam with Blood, Sweat and Tears, then carried on by Little, Brown up till the final volume, Secret Session Speeches, which was published by Simon and Schuster.

THE SECOND WORLD WAR

THE SECOND WORLD WAR

1948-53 (Cohen A240) (Woods A123)

This best-selling six-volume history helped win Churchill the Nobel Prize for literature in 1953. Published first in the U.S., the ensuing English edition contained numerous corrections and even a few additional maps. It is therefore considered to be more definitive, though today the American edition may be rarer. The series was simultaneously published by the Book-of-the-Month-Club, printed on the same presses as the first editions, and thus can easily be confused with them.

THE POST-WAR SPEECHES

THE POST-WAR SPEECHES

1948-1961 (Cohen A241-A273) (Woods A124-A142)

Five postwar speech compilation volumes were published, beginning with The Sinews of Peace in 1948, comprising the late-1945-1946 speeches, including the legendary Fulton, Missouri “Iron Curtain” speech. It was follow by Europe Unite in 1950 (1947-1948), In the Balance in 1951 (1949-1950), Stemming the Tide in 1953 (1951-1952), and The Unwritten Alliance in 1961 (1953-1959). This final book appeared in England only and is thus the rarest of the postwar speech volumes.

PAINTING AS A PASTIME

PAINTING AS A PASTIME

1948 (Cohen A242) (Woods A125)

Churchill’s marvelous essay celebrating his favorite hobby first appeared in the Strand magazine over two issues in December 1921 and January 1922. It was then anthologized in Churchill’s 1932 book Thoughts and Adventures, before being published on its own as this delightful little book, which has since been endlessly re-issued in a variety of English and American editions.

A HISTORY OF THE ENGLISH-SPEAKING PEOPLES

A HISTORY OF THE ENGLISH-SPEAKING PEOPLES

1956-1958 (Cohen A267) (Woods A138)

Churchill’s last great work is a sweeping, four-volume history of England, her colonies, and the language that Churchill so venerated and ennobled in his own writings. Published nearly twenty years after its first draft was written in the late 1930s, it was released simultaneously in Britain, the U.S., and Canada. The original English edition was handsomely printed, the American edition less so. Subsequent re-issues and abridgments abound.

FRONTIERS AND WARS

FRONTIERS AND WARS

1962 (Cohen A274) (ICS A142/1)

Frontiers and Wars is a one-volume abridgment of Churchill’s first four books (Malakand, The River War, London to Ladysmith, and Ian Hamilton’s March), which were all derived from his newspaper dispatches covering various colonial wars. Although this book appeared in Churchill’s lifetime, he had nothing to do with its preparation, nor did it contain new material, though it is, in and of itself, a new text.

YOUNG WINSTON'S WARS

1972 (Cohen A282) (Woods A143)

This volume presents a thorough documentation of Churchill the war correspondent and is comprised of the texts of his original newspaper dispatches from colonial wars in India, the Sudan and South Africa, in 1897-1900.

IF I LIVED MY LIFE AGAIN

1974 (Cohen A283) (ICS A144)

This heavily abridged, but nevertheless well-chosen, compilation of Churchill’s writings and speeches was assembled by journalist Jack Fishman, who wrote the first biography of Churchill’s wife, My Darling Clementine, published in 1963.

POSTHUMOUS COLLECTED EDITIONS

POSTHUMOUS COLLECTED EDITIONS

1974-2003 (Cohen AA1/AA2/284/286/301/303)

Six major posthumous works have been issued reprinting Churchill’s writings and speeches in significant new formats, The Collected WorksThe Major Works of Sir Winston ChurchillWinston S. Churchill: His Complete Speeches 1897-1963The Collected Essays of Sir Winston ChurchillThe Great Republic, and Never Give In!: The Best of Winston Churchill’s Speeches.

THE DREAM & THE CHARTWELL BULLETINS

1987-1989 (Cohen A288/291) (Woods A147/148)

These two contemporary publications by the International Churchill Society preserve between covers, for the first time, some excellent Churchill obscurities.

We are pleased to offer our adaptation of this invaluable reference work compiled by the eminent Churchill bibliophile Richard M. Langworth.

All thirty-seven books published by Winston Churchill during his lifetime are detailed in depth, with bibliographic particulars provided for identifying all editions, issues, and impressions, including English, American, Canadian, Australian, and non-English language editions.

Posthumously published works by Winston Churchill are also itemized.

This virtual tutorial is a must for any Churchill book collector.

Note: Definitions of bibliographic terminology used in this guide can be found here.


Click here for a list of terminology, bibliographic information, and other notes.