THE RIVER WAR: A Historical Account of the Reconquest of the Soudan

-First Edition Set-


First English Edition Set (First Printing) [1 of 2,003 produced]

By: Winston S. Churchill

Longmans, Green, & Co. Ltd. [London]

Biblio: (Cohen A2.1.a) (Woods A2a)

8vo (488 pages and 516 pages, profusely illustrated with drawings, 11 folding color maps, other maps & plans.)

Hardcover [Dark blue-black cloth]

Item Number: 203962

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Collector's Guide

The River War¬†was Winston Churchill’s second book, a brilliant history of British involvement in the Sudan and an account of the fierce campaign for its reconquest that Churchill himself participated in and, in many significant ways, disapproved of. Originally published in two large, lavish and, today, extremely rare volumes, all subsequent editions were significantly abridged.


This is a very handsome First English edition set, with lustrous blue-black cloth and bright gilt, unfaded spines and only minor scuffing. There are some very faint discoloration spots (fingerprints?) just visible on both rear faces. The most significant flaw is a smattering of eight tiny pinholes in the front face of Volume II. The spines of both volumes are crisp and almost entirely unruffled, which is rare. The gilt lettering is unusually bright throughout. The corners are all sharp, save for the crunched upper right corner of Volume I. There are handsome vintage bookplates affixed to the front pastedowns of both volumes that have left slight shadows on the facing black free endpapers. The bindings are unusually tight for this set but there is archival reinforcement to the frontis photo page in Volume I. All maps, plans and tissue guards are present and virtually mint. The contents are quite lightly foxed throughout. Overall, a striking example of this majestic pair, preserved here in an especially attractive, purpose-built, blue cloth, flannel-lined, slipcase with a gilt-lettered leather spine label that has modestly faded.