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6 June 1932 typed signed letter from Churchill to his publisher, George G. Harrap, submitting the draft of the first chapter of the first volume of Marlborough: His Life and Times
Chartwell, Westerham, Kent 1932 - "You will, I do not doubt, welcome the arrival of Chapter I " This typed, signed letter from Winston S. Churchill to his publisher, George Godfrey Harrap, ostensibly accompanied submission of Churchill’s first chapter of the first volume of Marlborough: His Life and Times. The letter, on Churchill’s Chartwell stationery, contains 23 typed lines in two paragraphs, dated "6th June 1932", and concludes with Churchill’s holograph valediction and full signature in black ink. Condition of the letter is excellent, clean with no loss or tears, with a single vertical and single horizontal crease consonant with folding for original posting. Winston Churchill's monumental biography of his great ancestor, John Churchill, the first Duke of Marlborough, was initially conceived a full 40 years before publication of the fourth and final volume. Churchill originally considered the idea of the biography in 1898, returning to it in earnest in 1928. Marlborough ultimately took 10 years of research and writing and is the most substantial published work of Churchill's "wilderness years" in the 1930s. This decade saw Churchill pass into his sixties with his own future as uncertain as that of his nation. It is perhaps not incidental that Churchill’s great work of the 1930s was about a great ancestor. Churchill may have wondered more than once if the life history he was writing might ultimately eclipse his own. Richard Langworth says "To understand the Churchill of the Second World War, the majestic blending of his commanding English with historical precedent, one has to read Marlborough." The work was well received. Two months after Volume I was published, on 12 December 1933, T.E. Lawrence wrote to Churchill: "I finished it only yesterday. I wish I had not The skeleton of the book is so good. Its parts balance and the main stream flows Marlborough has the big scene-painting, the informed pictures of men, the sober comment on political method, the humour, irony and understanding of your normal writing: but beyond that it shows more discipline and strength: and great dignity. It is history, solemn and decorative." In this letter, Churchill sets context for the first chapter he is submitting and expresses confidence in both his writing and his approach to his subject: "We have taken a great deal of trouble in verifying all the original sources, and as you see we have upset the long-accepted statements of the historians on numerous points of fact. The chapter is quite different from any of the opening chapters in other books on Marlborough, and may well go into print without further delay it will be easier to fit the actual references in their proper places when we see the chapter in print." Churchill took his task, and his research, seriously, as evidenced by his reference in this letter to the research substantiating his writing: " Mr. Ashley has assembled an immense amount of material covering the whole field and including a great many documents which have never before been published." Journalist and historian Maurice Percy Ashley (1907-1994) was Churchill’s research assistant from 1929 to 1933. Churchill often vexed his publishers by pushing deadlines. Churchill closes his letter providing some reassurance on this score: "The second chapter is far advanced and I hope to let you have it in about a fortnight I have every intention of completing my task in time for publication in the autumn of 1933." This deadline would be met. The first volume of Marlborough was published in October 1933 and the last on 3 September 1938. His publisher, George Harrap, died the next month and a year later Churchill was called back to the Admiralty, laying aside ancestral biography for the work of cementing his own place in history. [Attributes: Signed Copy]
      [Bookseller: Churchill Book Collector ABAA/ILAB/IOBA]
Last Found On: 2016-11-29           Check availability:      AbeBooks    


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