FOR FREE TRADE [First Edition]
A Collection of Speeches delivered at Manchester or in the House of Commons during the Fiscal controversy preceding the late General Election
First English Edition
Arthur L. Humphreys [London]
Biblio: (Cohen A18.1) (Woods A9)
8vo (136 pages [i-iv] v-ix [x-xii] xiii-xv [xvi] 1-118 [119-120])
Softcover [Red printed card wraps]
Item Number: 14349
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For Free Trade has always been, in tandem with Mr. Brodrick’s Army, the holy grail of Churchill book collecting. A small, 136-page, softcover collection of nine speeches on the title subject delivered by Winston Churchill as a 31-year-old MP for Manchester, For Free Trade was published by Arthur L. Humphreys, General Manager of Hatchard’s, the renowned London bookshop that still stands at number 187 Piccadilly. Hatchard’s had a long history even then as a publisher of pamphlets, both political and otherwise, including Churchill’s earlier 1903 speech compendium, the aforementioned Mr. Brodrick’s Army. Identical in format to Brodrick and just as precious, For Free Trade was produced in very small numbers, bound in unprepossessing red printed wraps that did not age well. The surviving handful of copies (as few as 15-20 accounted for) today constitute the stuff of collectors’ dreams.
This is, without question, the rarest Churchill first edition available today, an original copy of the First edition in its original card wraps, as issued.
The front cover here has triangular losses at each corner, as well as some surface chipping, but is attached and intact. The front cover has also darkened with age and there is a faint pencil marking visible near the publisher’s name. The spine has fragmented but is entirely present. Though published blank, the spine has been hand-lettered in now-faded ink: “Free Trade. Churchill, M.P.” The rear cover (which advertises MR. BRODRICK’S ARMY) is brighter and less worn. The binding is strong and the contents are fine, clean and unfoxed. The title page is stamped: “Reference Dept — The National Union —10 Apr 1906.”
The book is preserved in a simple blue cloth chemise with leather spine label. It is the most precious of Churchillian prizes.