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My African Journey
Hodder and Stoughton, London 1908 - This is a finely bound copy of the British first edition, only printing of My African Journey, Churchill's travelogue on Britain's possessions in East Africa, written while he was serving as Undersecretary of State for the Colonies. This copy comes to us from the collection of Oscar-winning actor and director Lord Richard Samuel Attenborough (1923-2014). The binding is three quarter dark red morocco over marbled paper boards with raised, gilt-ruled spine bands, blind rule transitions, head and foot bands, and heavy, laid paper endsheets. This book is notable, among other things, for being the only one of his many books to contain photographs apparently taken by the author. In the summer of 1907 Churchill left England for five months, making his way after working stops in southern Europe to Africa for "a tour of the east African domains." In early November, Churchill would kill a rhinoceros, the basis of the striking illustration on the front cover of the British first edition of his eventual book. By now a seasoned and financially shrewd author, Churchill arranged to profit doubly from the trip, first by serializing articles in Strand Magazine and then by publishing a book based substantially upon them. In November 1908 Hodder and Stoughton published My African Journey as a book, which was a substantial 10,000 words longer than the serialized articles. The British first edition is striking, with a vivid red binding and a prominent front cover bearing a woodcut illustration in blue, grey, and black of Churchill with his bagged white rhinoceros. The red cloth spine proved exceptionally vulnerable to sunning and the lovely books seem to have attracted handling, making wear and soiling the norm. Spotting is also endemic. This finely bound copy is a strikingly attractive alternative to the original binding. The binding shows no sign of fading, wear, soiling, or use other than minor scuffing to the front hinge and upper front fore edge. The contents are complete. The 61 photographs and three maps of this edition were tipped in rather than bound, so copies should always be carefully checked to ensure the presence of all illustrations and maps. All illustrations and maps are present, as is the tissue cover at the frontispiece. Of note, the map at page 2 is tipped in as a folding map. Many first edition copies of My African Journey we have examined feature this as a tipped in map on a single, unfolded page. This folding map is exactly the same in content and scale as maps in other first edition copies, the difference being that blank one inch margins at the top and bottom of this particular map were left untrimmed after printing, and thus it was tipped into this copy with the top two inches folded over. We find no previous ownership marks. Spotting is modest for the edition, mostly confined to the prelims and page edges. First editions came with an 18-page catalogue list of other Hodder & Stoughton titles. This catalogue list is often discarded when a copy is rebound. In this copy, the publisher’s rear catalogue is retained. Bibliographic reference: Cohen A27.1, Woods/ICS A12(aa), Langworth p.81. [Attributes: First Edition; Hard Cover]
      [Bookseller: Churchill Book Collector ABAA/ILAB/IOBA]
Last Found On: 2015-11-18           Check availability:      AbeBooks    

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