This Item Has Been Sold

MY EARLY LIFE: A Roving Commission

-Rare First English “Times Book Club” Edition-


Rare First English “Times Book Club” Edition

By: Winston S. Churchill

Thornton Butterworth Ltd. [London]

Biblio: (Not in Cohen) (Woods A37a)

8vo (392 pages, with photo frontispiece, maps, plans, one folding map, 16 tipped-in illustrations)

Hardcover (without Dust Jacket) [Smooth burgundy cloth]

Item Number: 206599

Collector's Guide

My Early Life is the only volume of personal memoirs that Churchill ever wrote. It is, arguably, his most entertaining book and an excellent entry point into his writing; a vivacious memoir of youth and wayward school boyhood. Published in the U.S. under the title A Roving Commission, the book has been endlessly re-issued in a variety of editions. True first editions, however, remain quite rare.


This is an extravagantly rare copy of the [London] Times Book Club edition, which came out simultaneously with the First English edition, bound from First Edition sheets. Incredibly, in his definitive bilbliography, bibliographer Ronad Cohen seems to have missed this edition, which is a great rarity unto itself.

The book is bound in unornamented burgundy cloth with plain gilt spine lettering. The cloth here has faded just a bit unevenly across the spine but is generally still robust. The boards are clean with one crunched upper front corner. The binding is ever so slightly cocked. The contents are fine, with tanning to the front free endpaper and scattered foxing to the prelims. There is a tiny former-owner initial inkstamp on the front free endpaper and an equally tiny Times Book Club sticker on the rear free endpaper.