-First Softcover Colonial Edition-


First Softcover Colonial Edition

By: Winston S. Churchill

Hodder & Stoughton [London]

Biblio: (Cohen A27.3) (Woods A12)

8vo (242 pages, with 60 photographs, 3 maps, tissue protected frontis photo, 18-page rear publisher’s catalogue.)

Softcover [Pictorial card wraps]

Item Number: 14243


Collector's Guide

My African Journey is Winston Churchill’s travelogue account of his whirlwind tour of Britain’s East-Africa territories as Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies; his first official government office. It features eloquent and perceptive observations about Africa and much big game hunting with young Churchill as guide. The first English edition is particularly coveted for its handsome cover woodcut of the author posed beside a trophy rhinoceros. The more plainly-bound American edition, which utilized English first edition sheets, has no woodcut on its brownish-red buckram cover yet is a far rarer volume.


This is a very good copy of the very rare First Colonial edition in softcover. Bibliographer Ronald Cohen notes that 903 copies of this fragile edition were sold and that, “few appear to have survived.” Survival was, of course, an issue for all Colonial editions, which suffered from the tropical climate in many of England’s colonies. This copy is in exceptional condition under the circumstances. The wraps are intact, if creased along the spine. There is a “Burma Bookstall” stamp on the front face, along with a former owner name-stamp dated “March 1909.” The front cover image of Churchill and his trophy rhino is crisp and bright. There are two former-owner names inked on the inside cover but the contents are otherwise fine, with a surprisingly minimal amount of foxing largely restricted to the prelims.

A very perishable volume in perfectly rarified condition.