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-Signed First English Single-Volume Edition Inscribed to Churchill’s Pre-Crash Stockbroker-


First English One-Volume Edition

By: Winston S. Churchill

Macmillan & Co. [London]

Biblio: (Cohen A17.4) (Woods A8b)

8vo (907 pages, five illustrations, two in color.)

Hardcover (without Dust Jacket) [Deep Red leather]

Item Number: 17500

Collector's Guide

Lord Randolph Churchill was Winston Churchill’s first work of biography and an impassioned two-volume defense of his maligned father’s posthumous reputation. It was subsequently issued in an unabridged one-volume edition and is a bulwark of any Churchill collection.


This pristine First English edition copy of the unabridged single-volume issue is signed and inscribed on the second free endpaper in ink: ”To William C. Van Antwerp from Winston S. Churchill Sept. 28, 1929. Yosemite Valley.”

The book is marvelously fresh, the cloth a trifle faded at the spine, with a hint of rubbing to the lower under-edge of the cloth boards and a nick in the inner front hinge. Contents fine.

Churchill’s three month tour of the United States and Canada in 1929 – “to see the country and to meet the leaders of its fortunes” – followed upon the defeat of Baldwin’s Conservative government and the end of Churchill’s tenure as Chancellor of the Exchequer. William C. Van Antwerp was a California stockbroker who “facilitated” Churchill’s visit to Yosemite. The day after he inscribed this book, Churchill wrote home to his wife Clementine: “I have… made friends with Mr. Van Antwerp & his wife. He is a little old man – one of the heads of a far reaching stock-broking firm – a great friend of England and a reader of all my books – quite an old fashioned figure. He is going to look after some of my money for me. His firm has the best information about the American Market & I have opened an account with them in which I have placed £3,000. He will manipulate it with the best possible chance of success… I am sure it will prove wise.”

One month later Churchill was in Manhattan on October 24 – “Black Thursday,” as fate would have it – witnessing the stock market’s collapse firsthand, including the sight of a man actually leaping to his death just below Churchill’s window at the Savoy Plaza hotel. The dawn of the “Great Crash” brought the utter destruction of Churchill’s own highly leveraged personal fortune.