“OUR REIGN IN INDIA OR ANYWHERE ELSE HAS NEVER STOOD ON THE BASIS OF PHYSICAL FORCE ALONE”: CHURCHILL’S INDIA, IN SCARCE ORIGINAL CLOTH
CHURCHILL, Winston. India. Speeches and an Introduction. London: Thornton Butterworth, (1931). Octavo, original orange cloth. Housed in a custom clamshell box. $3200.
First edition in book form of this volume of ten Churchill speeches on the issue of the emancipation of India, in scarce original cloth.
Upon first joining the English Army, Churchill served in India during the late 1890s. With the publication of this collection, Churchill wanted "to gain support for his campaign against the India Bill, over which he had broken with his party leadership, believing these relatively modest reforms would lead to the loss of India to the Empire… [however] when the India Bill had passed Parliament in 1935, Churchill even sent Gandhi his best wishes for success, and lent tacit approval to Attlee's plan to grant India Dominion status (thus de facto independence) in 1948. What he did not approve of was the sudden rush to leave India under Attlee's Viceroy, Lord Mountbatten, who arbitrarily moved Britain's departure date up to August 1947. British authority thus ended before boundaries could be worked out between Moslems, Hindus and Sikhs; a vast shift of population occurred, amid bloody attacks by the various sides against each other. Later Churchill would exclaim to Mountbatten, 'What you did in India was like striking me across the face with a riding crop" (Langworth, 148). In first-issue binding , with title, author, and publisher printed horizontally on spine. Also published simultaneously in orange wrappers, no priority given. "Since cased copies were, in principle, destined for library use rather than general public consumption… copies in the original cloth binding represented the number which the publisher estimated would be bought institutionally" (Cohen A92.1.b). "Softbound copies on the market today outnumber hardbound copies by at least 20 to one, which offers a clue as to their original press runs" (Langworth, 151). India is "among the rarest of Churchill's hardbound volumes" (Langworth, 150). Without the extremely rare dust jacket.
Cohen A92.1.a. Woods A38. Langworth 148-52.
Some foxing to title page and contents leaf, text clean; spine gently toned, a few faint stains to cloth. A very good copy of this scarce Churchill title.