First English Edition.
Weidenfeld & Nicholson [London]
Biblio: (Za170) (R126)
8vo (222 pages, over 400 illustrations)
Hardcover [Red cloth]
Item Number: 207573
The very first Churchill photobiography and an excellent one, with illuminating captions by his son Randolph.
This First English edition copy, in an unclipped dust jacket, is inscribed and SIGNED in ink by Randolph Churchill on the front free endpaper to Pamela Harriman, his first wife and the mother of his son, Winston: Pamela with love from Randolph 20 May 1955.
Laid-in loosely, as well, is a card dated and signed: “Randolph S. Churchill 1888” by Randolph’s namesake, his father’s father, Lord Randolph Churchill.
The book is in very good condition, with a bit of bumping to the spine, and cloth that is just faintly sunned. The contents are fine.
The original dust jacket is quite worn, with a rectangular loss of almost three inches at the left corner of the front face. The spine has been taped in a number of places. We have preserved this dust jacket on the presumption that it is, after all, Pamela Harriman’s tape. For presentation purposes, we have added an intact dust jacket to the book that has browned at the spine and is modestly edge-chipped but is otherwise fine.
PAMELA DIGBY CHURCHILL HEYWARD HARRIMAN, the British-born daughter of the 11th Baron Digby, was the wartime bride of Churchill’s son, Randolph, and the mother of Winston Churchill’s first grandson. Divorced from Randolph in 1946, she was notorious for her affairs with prominent and wealthy men, including Edward R. Murrow, Averell Harriman, William Paley and John Hay “Jock” Whitney (during the war); Prince Aly Khan, Alfonso de Portago, Gianni Agnelli and Baron Elie de Rothschild (after). She married the Broadway producer, Leland Heyward in 1960 and then, after his death, resumed her relationship with the 79-year-old Harriman, finally marrying him in 1971.
Their marriage brought her into the political social life of Washington, D.C., which led, after Harriman’s death, to her being named U.S. Ambassador to France by President Clinton in 1993. She died in Paris in 1997. Her epitaph was essentially written by her former lover, the media magnate William Paley, who called Harriman, “the greatest courtesan of the century.” Winston Churchill adored her, but strictly platonically.