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The People's Rights
Hodder and Stoughton, Ltd., London 1910 - This is among the rarest Churchill first editions – the first edition, only printing of The People’s Rights in the hardcover binding – one of only 100 bound thus. In 1904, Churchill quit the Conservative Party and joined the Liberals, beginning a dynamic chapter in his political career that saw him champion progressive causes and be branded a traitor to his class. In late 1909-early 1910, when The People's Rights was published, Winston Churchill was a powerful political force and a member of the Cabinet. From December 3-11, 1909 Churchill was on the campaign trail for the Liberals. The People's Rights is a distillation of these nine days of speeches, criticizing the House of Lords (which had rejected Liberal Government's budget, thus precipitating the campaign) and championing Free Trade, a graduated income tax, luxury tax, and surtaxes on unearned income. Churchill's efforts were not wasted; the election would give the Liberals a slim majority and passage of their budget. The first edition is not only an important work, but also the only edition published in Churchill's lifetime. A second edition would not be published until 1970, 60 years later. Nearly all first edition copies were bound in bright yellow-orange paper wraps (with a halftone photo of Churchill on the cover) and printed on cheap, pulp paper. For obvious reasons, they proved quite perishable and today these are scarce and desirable, even in halfway decent condition. However, exponentially more scarce is the publisher's original hardcover binding. As documented in Ronald Cohen's excellent Bibliography, "100 sets of sheets were bound on 20 December 1909". The hardcover issue is not only extravagantly rare, but was also bound "two weeks before the publication of the paper wrappers issue" and may have even been available in the last few days of 1909. (Cohen, Volume I, page 177) So rare are these that Churchill's first bibliographer, Frederick Woods, was able to examine only a worn and faded copy and incorrectly reported the binding color as "cherry-red cloth, flecked with pink". As the copy we offer confirms, the true color is a deep red. We have observed only a handful of copies on the market in the past decade. This copy is conservatively graded as good plus overall, sound and original but with flaws attendant to the age and inherent fragility of the contents. The original dark red cloth binding remains sound, with strong, unfaded color and sharp corners. The gilt remains strong, if a bit dulled. We note modest wear to extremities and overall scuffing with minor staining and soiling, most notably two small, whitish stains at the title on the upper front cover. The binding remains firmly attached to the contents with the mull fully intact, despite cosmetic splits to the endpaper gutters. The contents were printed on cheap pulp paper which always browns and becomes brittle. These contents are no exception, with the typical age-toning, more pronounced at the page edges. Nonetheless, being protected by the hardcover binding, the contents are better than those of most wraps-bound copies we see, which often suffer significant edge chipping in addition to age-toning. This copy does not have the p.71 mispagination affiliated with the first state, but does have a single Appendix and Index affiliated with first state wraps-bound copies, rather than the later state second Appendix replacing the Index. A single previous ownership mark in pencil on the front free endpaper reads: "To Bill | From Jack | Sept 1910". The front free endpaper has a one inch closed tear at the lower gutter, while the half-title has a 1.25 inch closed tear at the upper gutter. There is fractional chipping at the lower gutter of the title page and Preface, a shallow chip at the p.1 fore edge, the same at p.151 of the Index, and a one inch horizontal closed tear at the fore edge of the final free endpaper, with a small loss at the lower corner of the same. Bibliographic reference: Cohen A31.1.b, Woods/I [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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