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-Signed First English Edition Presentation Set Inscribed to Charles Longman, the Publisher Who Declined To Publish This Work-


First English Edition

By: Winston S. Churchill

Macmillan & Co. [London]

Biblio: (Cohen A17.1) (Woods A8a)

8vo (584 pages and 544 pages, illustrated, with tissue protected photo frontispieces)

Hardcover [Maroon cloth]

Item Number: 203956

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 beautiful First English edition set is signed and inscribed in ink on the first free endpaper of Volume I: ”Charles Longman from Winston S. Churchill, Jan. 1, 1906” (the day before publication).

Churchill had published all of his previous books with Charles Longman’s firm of Longmans, Green and Company, commencing with his first book, THE STORY OF THE MALAKAND FIELD FORCE. His asking price, however, for the right to publish this planned biography of his father, Lord Randolph Churchill, was too high for Charles Longman. Ultimately, Frederick Macmillan acquired the book for an 8,000 pound advance. Longman believed MacMillan had overpaid. He was wrong. Retailing for a very high 36 shillings (a little less than 2 pounds), the book wound up selling 6,250 copies. Recipients of first edition copies signed by Churchill on January 1, other than Charles Longman, included Churchill’s mother, Lady Randolph, and the King.

The cloth here remains fresh and bold, the gilt is bright, the corners sharp, the spines unfaded. Longmans’ bookplate is affixed to the front pastedowns of both volumes. The hinges in both are tender. The signature page in Volume I is a trifle toned, as are the tissue guards throughout. There is a spot of foxing to the fore-edge of the final gathering of pages in Volume II. Else fine.

The set is preserved in a handsome, double-cased, quarter morocco, navy blue solander with red leather spine labels.