-First Colonial Library Hardcover Edition-


First Colonial Library Edition [1 of 1,075 copies]

By: Winston [W. Spencer] Churchill

Longmans Green & Co. [London]

Biblio: (Cohen A1.2.a) (Woods A1ab)

8vo (337 pages, with frontis portrait and 6 maps, including 2 fold-out in color.)

Hardcover [Blackish-blue stamping on Greenish-grey cloth]

Item Number: 212309


Collector's Guide

The Story of the Malakand Field Force was Winston Churchill’s first book, a chronicle of true-life military adventures drawn from newspaper dispatches filed by the then-22-year-old correspondent while serving on India’s Afghanistan-bordering Northwest Frontier under Major-General Sir Bindon Blood. Wrenching to read how little has changed in this region since Churchill’s time. The First Edition is easily distinguished by its apple-green cloth binding but Malakand is prized by collectors in almost any edition.


A good-very good copy of the rare First Colonial Library hardcover edition, which was “intended for circulation only in India and the British colonies.” Harsher climate conditions in the colonies generally resulted in low survival rates for these volumes. This copy is a survivor with character.

The spine has darkened and there is fractional loss at the spine head. The front and rear faces are somewhat soiled but retain good color, including Churchill’s name, rendered here for the only time as “L. W. Spencer Churchill.” (The “L” [for Leonard] was dropped on all Second Edition covers.) The binding is tight and square, with sharp corners. The contents are fine and unfoxed, with a vintage Indian library ink-stamp on the title page and again on the verso of the frontis photo, which has frayed at the page edge, as has the tissue guard. There are no other library markings.

Altogether, a better than average example with an interesting ex-library connection.