“ONE OF THE BEST POLITICAL BIOGRAPHIES IN ENGLISH"
CHURCHILL, Winston. Lord Randolph Churchill. London: Macmillan, 1906. Two volumes. Octavo, original burgundy cloth, top edges gilt, uncut. $2000.
First edition of Churchill's distinguished biography of his father, with two photographic frontispiece portraits of Lord Randolph, in the original cloth.
"In My Early Life, Winston joked about his father's low opinion of him… Beneath Winston's tremendous stature as a world leader, his belligerence, his confidence, there ran this dark, poignant thread, of a son working vainly to win his father's approval" (Rubin, 106, 108). "Outside Parliament, Churchill devoted much of his time during 1904 and 1905 to compiling a biography of Lord Randolph. He was motivated in part by a desire for an intimate knowledge of his father that had been denied him during Lord Randolph's lifetime… When the book emerged in 1906, it was widely hailed as one of the best political biographies in English and its prose style is still greatly admired today… Contemporary readers were struck by the frankness and openness of the account, contrasting favorably with the pious acts of homage served up as biography by other sons of famous fathers. It was, after all, a study in failure rather than success. The writing of the biography marked the point at which Churchill at last outgrew his father's memory" (Grant, 47). Illustrated with numerous full-page plates and manuscript facsimiles. Cohen A17.1. Woods A8a. Langworth, 68-71. Bookplates, owner ink inscription. Bookseller label.
Some faint foxing, particularly to first few and last few leaves of each volume. Spines gently toned. A near-fine copy in the original cloth.