The Story of the Malakand Field Force.
An Episode of Frontier War. With maps, plans, etc.London, New York & Bombay: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1898 Stock Code: 138593
An exceptional copy of Churchill's first bookFirst edition, first state without errata slip, home issue in the "apple green cloth" (Woods), which is particularly prone to fading and mottling. This an exceptionally nice copy, Langworth noting that "truly fine copies are extreme rarities, and even those with routine wear and tear are difficult to find". This copy with an excellent military provenance, coming from the library of Godfrey Charles Morgan, 2nd Baron Tredegar (1830-1913), who as a captain in the 17th Lancers lead a section in the Charge of the Light Brigade, one of only two officers of the regiment to return unscathed; Churchill himself served as a light cavalryman here in India, and later, most famously, at Omdurman, the last full-scale cavalry charge in British history.
Churchill was correspondent for the Daily Telegraph on Sir Bindon Blood's punitive 1897 expedition against the Afghan tribesmen of the North-West Frontier, during which he "took part in several skirmishes in which he came under fire and witnessed acts of barbarism by both sides" (ODNB). He consolidated his reports into book-form on his return to Bangalore, and his account was published in March 1898.
Octavo. Original moderate yellowish green cloth, spine lettered in gilt within blind panel, front cover lettered in gilt on recessed panel, black endpapers. Housed in a burgundy quarter morocco solander box by the Chelsea Bindery.
Half-tone portrait frontispiece with tissue-guard, 6 maps, of which 2 folding and in colour. With 32 pp. publisher's catalogue at rear (stated by Cohen to be of no significance for priority).
Bookplate of Baron Tredegar to front pastedown. Very lightly rubbed, head and tail of spine mildly crumpled, tiny chafed spot on the front joint, a light scatter of foxing to the fore-edge, free endpapers lightly browned verso, the half-title toned through contact, a couple of leaves slightly roughly opened with small chips from the head margin, faint offsetting from the coloured maps, the book block otherwise clean, square and tight. A superior copy.
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