MY AFRICAN JOURNEY
[PRESENTATION Leatherbound First English Edition INITIALED by Winston Churchill for Colonel Frank Clarke]
Winston S. Churchill
First English Edition
(Cohen A27.1) (Woods A12aa)
Hodder & Stoughton [London]
8vo (242 pages, with 60 photographs, 3 maps, tissue protected frontis photo, 18-page rear publisher's catalogue.)
Hardcover [Blue leather]
Churchill at Chartwell
MY AFRICAN JOURNEY
Big game hunting with young Churchill as guide; a travelogue of Britain's East Africa possessions written by the then-Undersecretary of State for the Colonies. The first English edition is particularly coveted for its handsome cover woodcut of the author posed beside a trophy rhinoceros. The more plainly-bound American edition, which utilized English first edition sheets, has no woodcut on its brownish-red buckram cover but is a far rarer book.
"WSC" for COLONEL FRANK CLARKE, who famously hosted Winston and Clementine Churchill at his Miami Beach home in January and February 1946, prior to Churchill's March appearance at Fulton College, Missouri to deliver what would come to be known as his "Iron Curtain" speech. This book was part of a signed leatherbound set of his works that Churchill sent to Clarke by way of thanks. Winston Churchill only signed with his initials for intimates.The two men had known each other since the General Strike of 1926, when the Quebec-born Clarke, whose family owned paper mills in Canada, worked for Churchill on the staff of The British Gazette. The Churchills later stayed at Clarke's lakeside cabin for two days of rest following the Quebec Conference. Clarke was a shipowner, whose vessels served in Allied operations throughout the war as hospital, supply and troop ships.The binding, by Sangorski & Sutcliffe, is three-quarter blue crushed morocco leather over blue cloth, with gilded top edges, gilt titles on the spine with raised bands in six compartments, and marbled endpapers. The leather binding here has faded a bit along the spine. The contents are fine, with tanning to the endpaper edges and scattered foxing, with ink staining along the fore-edges.A most significant association copy that comes by direct descent from the Clarke family.
This handsome leatherbound First English edition is INITIALED in ink on the front free endpaper: