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My African Journey
London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1908. First edition, only printing. Hardcover. This is 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 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 is a superior copy, better than very good, notable for a square and tight binding with excellent spine color. The spine is nicely rounded and clean with bright gilt and deep, uniform, only very slightly toned color. Spine presentation is marred only by some wear at the spine head, including slight fraying and a miniscule tear. The illustrated front cover - the hallmark feature of the book - remains bright and clean, as does the rear cover, both with minor wear limited to the corners. The contents remain tight and 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. In examining this copy, we made an interesting discovery of bibliographic interest. The map at page 2 is tipped in as a folding map. Only one other of the many other first edition copies of My African Journey we have examined feature this as a folding map. Closer examination and comparison to other copies reveal this folding map to be exactly the same in content and scale to maps in other first edition copies, the difference being that blank 1 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. Spotting is fairly mild for the edition, primarily confined to the first few leaves and the page edges. The sole previous ownership mark is a name and "Dulwich | London, S.E." ink stamped to the first free endpaper. Bibliographic reference: Cohen A27.1, Woods/ICS A12(aa), Langworth p.81
      [Bookseller: Churchill Book Collector]
Last Found On: 2014-11-29           Check availability:      Biblio    

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