THE STORY OF THE MALAKAND FIELD FORCE
-Second Colonial Library Edition-
Second Colonial Library Edition (First Printing “New Edition”) [1 of 360 copies]
Longmans Green & Co. [London]
Biblio: (Cohen A1.4.a) (Woods A1ab)
8vo (337 pages, with frontis portrait and 6 maps, including 2 fold-out in color.)
Hardcover [Blue-green cloth]
Item Number: 206348
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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 is a beautiful copy of the Second Colonial Library edition, bound in a vivid blue-green cloth, fascinatingly different from the standard Colonial Library gray-green cloth. The Second Colonial Library edition was bound from “Silver Library” sheets for export to the colonies. Only 360 copies of this Second Printing were bound in cloth, according to bibliographer Ronald Cohen (another 130 were bound in softcover). “Intended for circulation only in India and the British colonies,” Colonial Library volumes did not generally fare well, due to the colonies’ harsher climate conditions. This survivor is quite the exception. The blue stamping on the green cloth clovers is bright, the covers are clean, the spine is only modestly faded and the gilt lettering only modestly dulled. The binding is square and tight, with very faint fraying to the spine head. The title page has been archivally re-attached, the paper is somewhat browned with age but altogether unfoxed. The contents are otherwise fine. A striking, early rarity.