Title: London to Ladysmith - via Pretoria
Publisher: Longmans Green & Co. London
Publication Date: 1900
Book Condition: Very Good
498 pp + 32 pp publisher's catalogue, black endpapers embossed by W.H. Smith & Son (booksellers). 4 maps (3 folding), plans. Original pictorial tan cloth with spine in gilt and red. The British first edition is memorable, bound in tan cloth with an illustration of an armoured train on the front cover accompanied by the author's facsimile signature and with the Union flag and Transvaal flag in gilt on the spine beneath a red subtitle. The first edition is a beautiful book with a distinctive, pictorial front cover, but is notoriously fragile and prone to wear, soiling, and spotting. Truly fine copies are very unusual. This first edition, first printing is in good condition- not fine but nonetheless clean and bright, approaching very good condition. The binding remains square and tight, with just the slightest shelf wear, confined to hinges and extremities. The spine has kept the gilt lettering and flags, the red subtitle is clearly visible, no appreciable soiling, and only extremely modest wrinkling which hardly detracts from the appearance. There is no discernible color shift between the covers and spine. The illustrated front cover is likewise intact with only minor soiling to it and to the blank rear cover. The contents are bright with a crisp feel, despite spotting primarily confined to the preliminary few pages. The original black endpapers are intact with a small sign of cracking at the front one. All maps and plans are present, with the folding maps at the title page and p.366 fully intact. This is Churchill's fourth book and the first of his two books based on his newspaper despatches sent from the front in South Africa. It was during this conflict that Churchill was captured by the Boers and made a daring escape that made him a celebrity and helped launch his political career. The book was published in May 1900, and in October Churchill won his first seat in Parliament. Bibliographic reference: Cohen A4.1.a, Woods/ICS A4(a.1), Langworth p.53.