Marlborough. His Life and Times.

London: George G. Harrap & Co. Ltd, 1933-38 Stock Code: 123841
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Inscribed by Churchill to the first Prime Minister of Northern Ireland

First editions, first impressions, trade issue, inscribed by the author in vol. IV on the front free endpaper, "To Craigavon, from Winston Churchill. August 1938". The recipient was James Craig, 1st Viscount Craigavon (1871-1940), and the first Prime Minister of Northern Ireland. Churchill was grateful for the Ulster loyalist support he received in his wilderness year of 1938. For Christmas in 1938 (the same year as this book was inscribed), Craigavon presented Churchill with a silver cup "engraved with speeches on Ulster by his father, himself, and his son Randolph" (Loughlin, p. 92).

"Marlborough: his Life and Times took its place at once among the classics of historical writing. As the story of his ancestor's leadership of a grand alliance to prevent the domination of the continent by a single power, it was also a source of inspiration to Churchill in his campaign against appeasement" (ODNB). Ironically, in the latter half of 1938 when the three "Treaty" ports of Cobh, Berehaven, Lough Swilly were given up against Churchill's wishes, "partly in a vain attempt to convince Hitler that peaceful negotiation and conciliation was the best path although the Unionist government did protest against the deal on the Irish ports, their protest was a qualified one. Lord Craigavon, in the end, professed a willingness to be 'bribed' by government contracts for Belfast firms. Some observers believed that Craigavon in essence supported the policy of appeasement. The low-key betrayal by a friend brings home the full extent of Churchill's powerlessness in 1938" (Bew, Churchill and Ireland).

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4 volumes, octavo. Original purple cloth over lightly bevelled boards, gilt-lettered spines, Marlborough crest gilt to front boards, top edges gilt.


Portrait frontispiece to each volume, 99 additional plates, 14 facsimiles of letters, and 182 maps and plans, several folding.


Spines faded, occasional foxing to contents; a very good copy of a publication prone to fading.


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