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THE STORY OF THE MALAKAND FIELD FORCE
-Leatherbound Presentation Edition Signed and Inscribed by Winston Churchill-
Nelson’s “Shilling Library” Edition
Thomas Nelson & Sons [London]
Biblio: (Cohen A1.5) (Woods A1c)
16mo (384 pages, 6 maps, and plans)
Hardcover [Blue leather]
Item Number: 204684
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.
This very good leatherbound copy is SIGNED and inscribed in ink on the front free endpaper: ”For Frank Clarke from Winston S. Churchill 1946.”
COLONEL FRANK CLARKE famously hosted Winston and Clementine Churchill at his Miami Beach home in January and February 1946, prior to Churchill’s March appearance at Fulton College, Missouri to deliver what would come to be known as his “Iron Curtain” speech. These books were part of a signed leatherbound set of his works that Churchill sent to Clarke by way of thanks.
The two men had known each other since the General Strike of 1926, when the Quebec-born Clarke, whose family owned paper mills in Canada, worked for Churchill on the staff of The British Gazette. The Churchills later stayed at Clarke’s lakeside cabin for two days of rest following the Quebec Conference. Clarke was a shipowner, whose vessels served in Allied operations throughout the war as hospital, supply and troop ships.
The binding by Sangorski & Sutcliffe is three-quarter blue crushed morocco leather over blue cloth with gilded top edges, gilt titles on the spine with raised bands in six compartments, and marbled endpapers. The edition is the 1916 “Shilling Library” Edition, a delightfully small, clothbound mass market paperback-equivalent of the World War I era. The leather binding has faded a bit along the spine. The contents are fine, with tanning to the endpaper edges.
A most significant association copy that comes by direct descent from the Clarke family.