"HE NEVER RODE OFF ANY FIELD EXCEPT AS A VICTOR": FIRST EDITION OF CHURCHILL'S MARLBOROUGH, IN ORIGINAL DUST JACKETS
CHURCHILL, Winston. Marlborough: His Life and Times. London: George G. Harrap, (1933-38). Four volumes. Octavo, original plum cloth, beveled edges, top edges gilt, original dust jackets. $4000.
First trade editions of this important biography of Churchill's famed ancestor, with hundreds of maps and plans (many folding), plates, and document facsimiles, in original dust jackets.
Churchill wrote this history of his famous ancestor to refute earlier criticisms of Marlborough by Macaulay. "Though it was a commissioned work, Churchill would not have invested nearly a million words and ten years had it not had special significance for him. For he wrote about a man who was not only his ancestor, an invincible general, the first of what became the Spencer-Churchill dukes of Marlborough, and a maker of modern Britain, but also a supreme example of heroism in the two vocations which mainly interested Churchill and in which ultimate triumph seemed to have eluded him—politics and war making" (Wiedhorn, 110). "It may be his greatest book. To understand the Churchill of the Second World War, the majestic blending of his commanding English with historical precedent, one has to read Marlborough. Only in its pages can one glean an understanding of the root of the speeches which inspired Britain to stand when she had little to stand with" (Langworth, 164). Issued simultaneously with a signed limited edition. Errata slips present in Volumes I-III, as called for. All dust jackets without mention of later impressions (Langworth, 167). Cohen A97.2(I).a; A97.2(II).a; A97.2(III).a; A97.2(IV).a. Woods A40(a). Langworth, 164-8.
Books clean and fine. Dust jackets (Volume II price-clipped) with some minor soiling and toning, particularly to spines, and shallow edge-wear, very good. An attractive set, increasingly scarce in the original dust jackets.