Over these twelve days of “Twelvetide” we want to share with you 12 highlights from our new 40th Anniversary catalogue.



“From Winston”

This handsome First Edition copy of Churchill’s 1937 collection of 21 penetrating personality profiles of political and literary luminaries, in the rare and extremely handsome dust jacket, is inscribed and signed in ink, intimately: “To Maxine from Winston, October 1937” (the month of publication).


The recipient was MAXINE ELLIOTT (1868-1940), the legendary American actress and British socialite, who remained one of Winston Churchill’s staunchest friends throughout his pre-World War II existence, after also being one of his mother’s dearest companions. Elliott owned two great houses in her life and both were among Churchill’s favorite retreats. The daughter of an Irish immigrant sea captain, Elliott had been a longstanding star on Broadway and in London before purchasing the country estate Hartsbourne Manor, near Bushy Heath, in 1909, following her divorce from actor-manager Nat Goodwin. Winston and Clementine Churchill weekended there regularly with an array of theatrical, political, and society luminaries. During World War I, Churchill, while in France, visited Elliott on a Belgian relief barge that she’d funded, where she fed and clothed 350,000 refugees in fifteen months. With the war’s end, he returned often to Hartsbourne until Elliott sold it in 1923 and retired to Paris. Seven years later, she built a staggeringly beautiful new residence, Le Château del’Horizon, on the French Riviera at Golfe-Juan near Cannes, and resumed her legendary entertaining. “Maxine’s Chateau” was Churchill’s preferred refuge during his Wilderness Years. He painted there a great deal and wrote innumerable articles and at least four books, dictating to his secretary, Mrs. Violet Pearman, who often accompanied him. Clementine only occasionally did.

It is rare to find books signed by Churchill with just his first name. He did so for intimates only.

More tomorrow.