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Winston Churchill.
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(CHURCHILL, Winston S.) ROBERTS, Carl Eric Bechhofer, as "Ephesian".

Winston Churchill.

Being an Account of the Life of the Right Hon. Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill, P.C., C.H., T.D., M.P.

Published: London: Mills & Boon, Limited, 1927

Stock code: 19508

Price: £3,500

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This item is on show at 43 Dover Street (map)

First edition. The author’s own copy, with his bookplate to the front pastedown, and a one-page typed letter signed from Churchill mounted on the front free endpaper. In the letter he thanks Roberts for sending him a copy of the book, explaining; “Although … I would rather that nothing of this kind had been published, yet I should like to recognise the great consideration and courtesy with which you have treated me, and to thank you for all the friendly things you say”. Churchill writes on Chartwell stationery, the letter dated 29 September 1927, one day before the publication of the book. More than twenty pages of clipped reviews are mounted on blanks bound in after the Index, a four-page printed synopsis has been tipped in before the half-title, and Roberts has annotated the imprint to show the two subsequent editions, or rather impressions, of 1927. A “fourth edition”, with a current evaluation of the new prime minister, was published by Newnes in 1940. Roberts is a rather obscure miscellaneous writer who contributed to Orage’s The New Era on a variety of subjects, published a number of books on spiritualism having met Gurdijeff while travelling in Russia in 1919, but is best known for a slew of true crime and crime fiction publications in the 1930s. Roberts dedicates the book to the Countess of Birkenhead, having previously written a biography of the Earl, F. E. Smith, Churchill’s parliamentary sparring partner, and co-founder of The Other Club. Roberts’s odd nom de plume is drawn from his admiration for Smith: “F.E.-sian”.

Octavo. Original blue cloth, titles in gilt to spine and to front cover within a blind double fillet panel. Portrait frontispiece and 7 other plates. A little rubbed, particularly at the extremities, endpapers lightly browned, foxing to the fore-edge, else very good.

Bibliography: Woods p. 328.

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