This Item Has Been Sold
PAINTING AS A PASTIME
-Signed First English Edition Presentation Copy Inscribed to Churchill’s Favorite Cousin-
First English Edition
Odhams Press [London]
Biblio: (Cohen A 242.1.a) (Woods A125a)
4to (32 pages of text, plus 18 color plates of paintings.)
Hardcover (with Dust Jacket) [Taupe cloth]
Item Number: 17496
Painting as a Pastime is Winston Churchill’s marvelous essay celebrating his favorite hobby. It first appeared in the Strand magazine over two issues in December 1921 and January 1922. It was then anthologized in Churchill’s 1932 book, Thoughts and Adventures, before being published on its own as this delightful little volume, which has since been endlessly re-issued in a variety of English and American editions.
This First English edition is SIGNED and Inscribed with unusually affectionate intimacy in ink on the front free endpaper: ”To Clare with love from Winston 1949.”
CLARE Consuelo Frewen SHERIDAN (1885-1970) was Winston Churchill’s first cousin and one of his favorite relations. Born in London, the daughter of Lady Randolph’s sister, Clara Jerome, and her husband, the hapless Moreton Frewen, who so famously mangled the job of copy-editing Churchill’s first book, THE STORY OF THE MALAKAND FIELD FORCE, Clare Sheridan’s godmother and namesake was Consuelo Vanderbilt, for a time the Duchess of Marlborough, and another Churchill favorite. After marrying William Frederick Sheridan in 1910, Clare Sheridan bore three children and became a celebrated sculptress and travel writer. She shared avidly in Churchill’s discovery of himself as a painter and maintained a warm relationship with him even after her support for the Russian Revolution divided them politically. While visiting America, she had a notorious love affair with Charlie Chaplin and her circle included Lord and Lady Mountbatten, Lady Diana Cooper, Vita Sackville-West and Vivien Leigh. Her busts of her cousin Winston can be found at Blenheim Palace, Harrow School and, of course, at Chartwell.
Her book remains in very good condition preserved in a handsome vintage half-blue leather clamshell solander, gilt-lettered and ornamented on the spine in six compartments with gilt-tooled raised bands. The unclipped dust jacket is lightly edge-chipped with fractional loss at the upper edge of the rear panel. The contents are fine and unfoxed. Laid-into the book is a typed letter on 28 Hyde Park Gate notepaper, signed by Churchill’s Principal Private Secretary Jo Sturdee:
“Dear Mrs. Sheridan, Mr. Churchill has inscribed a copy of his book, Painting as a Pastime, which he sends you with his good wishes. He has also signed the photograph of your bust of him, which you left behind at Chartwell for that purpose, the other day.”