“CHURCHILL AT HIS DAZZLING BEST”: CHURCHILL’S AUTOBIOGRAPHY, IN THE VIRTUALLY UNOBTAINABLE ORIGINAL DUST JACKET, INSCRIBED BY HIM IN THE YEAR OF PUBLICATION
CHURCHILL, Winston. My Early Life: A Roving Commission. London: Thornton Butterworth, (1930). Octavo, original purple cloth, uncut and unopened, original dust jacket. Housed in a custom clamshell box. $45,000.
First edition, first state, presentation copy, of Churchill’s acclaimed autobiography, inscribed on a front flyleaf in the year of publication: “Presented by Winston S. Churchill, Dec 1930,” in exceedingly rare original dust jacket.
My Early Life covers the first 25 years of Churchill's life, to the beginning of his parliamentary career. Included are accounts of his childhood, his active service in Cuba, the North West Frontier and Omdurman, and his exploits during the Boer War, detailing his famous escape from the Boers as a prisoner of war. In this autobiography "Churchill records his experiences in words which will live as long as any 20th-century author is read… My Early Life was one of the two Churchill works excerpted by the Nobel Library—for Sir Winston's 1953 Nobel Prize in Literature was won not for his war memoirs but the totality of his work. This book presents Churchill at his dazzling best as chronicler and memoirist" (Langworth, 130). With numerous maps (including one folding) and plans and 16 tipped-in illustrations. First state, with 11 titles listed on verso of half title. This English edition precedes the American edition (issued under the title A Roving Commission: My Early Life) by three days. Cohen A91.1.a. Langworth, 129-136. Woods A37(a).
Interior fine. Light wear to extremities of original cloth and fading to spine ends. Wear to exceptionally rare original dust jacket including fading and chipping. Rear flap partially detached; front panel detached but present. Overall an exceptionally desirable copy, quite scarce signed and in the virtually unobtainable original dust jacket."