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

[SIGNED First One-Volume Abridged Edition]


First One-Volume Abridged Edition [1 of 1,003 copies]

By: Winston S. Churchill

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

Biblio: (Cohen A2.2) (Woods A2b)

8vo (381 pages, illustrated with 22 maps, 14 in color, photo frontis, index, appendices and rear publisher’s catalogue, dated 7/02.)

Hardcover [Deep red cloth]

Item Number: 14221

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, THE RIVER WAR was abridged by Churchill himself for a 1902 one-volume edition. All subsequent editions have been versions of Churchill’s abridgement.


This is a very good copy of the rare First Abridged One-Volume English edition. It has been neatly signed in ink on the half-title: ”From Winston S. Churchill.”

Due to the small print run of 1,000 copies, the Abridged Edition is actually much rarer than the two-volume First Edition of THE RIVER WAR. (Ronald Cohen, in his new bibliography, reports that sixty copies were reserved by the publisher for presentation, perhaps including this one.) Churchill’s abridgment reduced his original text length by approximately one-third; the edition also benefited from an excellent new Preface by the author.

This copy is in handsome condition, the cloth a deep red, the gilt bright, the contents clean, very square, tight and unfoxed. There is some slight rubbing along the lower edge of the front board as well as a smattering of faint white stains along the front joint and the spine. There is a one-inch closed tear and another shorter closed tear to the cloth at the tail of the spine, else fine. A spectacular copy overall of a book very rarely seen, let alone signed.