Our shops are open and we are processing online, telephone and email orders as normal


Sheets of The River War, volume I, with Churchill's corrections on 17 pages.

London: Longmans, Green & Co., 1899 Stock Code: 90104
Reserve Ask us a question

Unbound pre-publication sheets of Churchill's second book, with his holograph corrections, some quite extensive, to 17 pages. Working papers from the early part of Churchill's writing career are exceedingly uncommon. Just one minor correction marked here seems to have been adopted in the published version, but a number were taken up in the single-volume edition published in 1902. Churchill's tendency to rewrite, revise, amend, and generally to tinker with his work right down to the wire, and often beyond - "an indefatigable reviser" (Woods) - was the source of great frustration, and expense, to his publishers throughout his career. "Revise would follow revise, eventually to become a 'Final Revise'; this title, however, rarely fulfilled its promise. More often than not 'Overtake Corrections' then began to arrive, sometimes even after the presses had started running" (Woods, Artillery of Words, p.156). Here Churchill has marked up an unsewn set of the sheets to the first volume, and it seems unlikely that this was in preparation for the single-volume edition as a number of his emendations actually represent expansions of the text. Of particular interest are those made in chapter III, "The Fate of the Envoy", pp. 100-04, which include a note of the source for his dramatic description of the death of Gordon; "I received this account in Feb. from a man I sent up to Khartoum from the steamer I was on about Feb. 10th, & have it now at home". A highly desirable document of the writing of Churchill's "superb" history (DNB) of the war in the Sudan and of his involvement in it.

Confused? Read our glossary


Octavo. Loose sheets in recent blue full morocco, plush-lined box, title gilt to the spine.


Half-title somewhat soiled and browned, last leaf with some marginal splits, no loss of text, and soiling verso, but otherwise just light toning and some marginal finger-soiling and chipping throughout, overall very good.


With the exception of framed items*, Peter Harrington offers free delivery on all UK orders of rare books, maps and prints placed through this website. Delivery to USA and the rest of the world is similarly free for orders over £200.

View Full Delivery Details



Established in 1969, Peter Harrington is one of the leading rare book firms in the world. It is a proud member of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association – along with ILAB, the PBFA and Lapada – and from shops in Mayfair and Chelsea, London, sells rare books, prints and ephemera to customers across the world.

Email: mail@peterharrington.co.uk

Tel: +44 (0)20 7591 0220

ABA Antiquarian Bookseller Association ILAB International League of Antiquarian Booksellers LAPADA The Association of Art and Anatique Dealers PBFA Provincial Booksellers Fairs Association

Our Guarantee Page

Ask us a question


Contact us with details of the book you are interested in or selling and we will contact you

Sell Old Books Help me find a book