The People's Rights.
By The Right Hon. Winston Spencer Churchill, M.P, President of the Board of Trade. Selected from his Lancashire and other recent speeches.London, Hodder & Stoughton, [1909?] Stock Code: 129499
NotesFirst edition, first (cased) issue, second state with p.71 correctly numbered. Rightly considered by Langworth to be the "third rarest Churchill book after Mr. Brodrick's Army and For Free Trade", Issued both case-bound and wrappered; "The publisher's records show that 100 sets of sheets were bound on 20 December 1909 two weeks before the publication of the paper wrappers issue. The cloth copies may, therefore, have been available in the last few days of 1909" (Cohen). A hurriedly prepared election document - Churchill was sent the contract just four days before the case-bound copies were being bound - The People's Rights reprints a series of stump speeches delivered in Lancashire which are notable for their radicalism. It was a period during which he was responsible for "legislation which was, for its day, positively socialist: The Shop Hours Act, The Mines Eight Hours Bill, the creation of labour exchanges and unemployment insurance", and here he attacks the Lords' veto and tariff reform in terms that lead Woods to remark that "any blindfold test would surely indicate some fiery Marxist rather than Churchill", the collection representing "a valuable reminder of a phase in Churchill's life that he describes nowhere else in his writings, only fleetingly in his journalism, and that is all too often forgotten in the public mind" (Woods, Artillery of Words, pp.67-9). Overall a very well-preserved copy of a highly desirable and elusive Churchill rarity, "It is very clear only a few such copies were offered for sale and that they are extremely scarce" (Cohen).
Octavo. Original red cloth, spine and front cover lettered in gilt, top edge gilt. Housed in a burgundy flat-back cloth box by the Chelsea Bindery.
Slightly rubbed, spine mildly sunned, a little creased and whitened at the tail, front hinge a touch loose, endpapers mottled, text-block browned as usual,
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