-First English Edition Set Signed and Inscribed in the Month of Publication-


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: 210914

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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 is a very good First English edition set signed and inscribed in ink on the first free endpaper of Volume I: ”F. Smith from Winston S. Churchill, 13 Jan. 1906” (the month of publication). Laid-into the book is a presentation slip on embossed Chancellor of the Exchequer notepaper, with a written presentation in ink, in Churchill’s hand: “For Lord Colwyn.” The Colwyn bookplate appears on the front pastedowns of both volumes.

Frederick Henry Smith, 1st Baron Colwyn (1859-1946) was a manufacturer, investor and banking executive from Churchill’s constituency of Manchester; an influential Liberal figure in Manchester politics at a time when Winston Churchill was a recent new member of the Liberal party. In fact, January 1906 — the month of Lord Randolph Churchill’s publication — also was the month of the great Liberal landslide of 1906 that carried Churchill to his first election victory as a Liberal in Manchester.

The cloth of both volumes is fresh, the gilt titles bright, the corners sharp, if lightly rubbed, the spines moderately faded and rubbed, with short tears at the head and upper joint edge of Volume I. The binding is square and tight. The contents are fine but foxed lightly throughout. The red cloth has bled some red onto the rear endpapers of Volume I. The rear hinge of Volume II is beginning to give. Else fine.