London: Longmans, Green, and Co.,, 1898. Item #05187
Winston Churchill's 'The Story of the Malakand Field Force'
A Near Fine First Edition in the Original Cloth - Housed in a Superb Cosway-Style Clamshell Case
CHURCHILL, Winston L. Spenser. The Story of the Malakand Field Force. An episode of frontier war… with maps, plans, etc. London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1898.
First edition, second state with the errata slip tipped in immediately preceding the first folding map and the 32 page publisher's catalog dated "3/98".
Octavo (7 9/16 x 5 inches; 192 x 127 mm.). [xvi], 336 pp. 32 page publisher's catalog dated March 1898 at end. Photogravure frontispiece with original tissue guard, two colored folding maps, both with original tissue guards, and four uncolored sketch maps.
Publisher's apple green cloth, front cover and spine lettered in gilt, black coated endpapers. Mainly marginal foxing throughout but far less than is usually seen. Spine with very slight mark, possibly from a label that has been removed.
In spite of the aforementioned this is an exceptional and near fine copy of Churchill's first non fiction work. Now housed in a magnificent Cosway-Style full red morocco clamshell case with watered red silk lining. On the front is a fine oval portrait miniature (3 1/8 x 2 1/2 inches; 79 x 63 mm.) of a young Winston Churchill, spine with five raised bands decoratively tooled and lettered in gilt.
Aside from the foxing this is a near fine copy of Churchill's first published work of non fiction, the apple green cloth binding free from the usual fading and mottling.
"2000 copies published on 14 March 1898, price 7s. 6d… There is a second state of this first issue, identified by the presence of an errata slip tipped in immediately preceding the first folding map. All copies should possess protective tissues over the frontispiece and folding maps, and should also possess a 32pp. Classified Catalogue, printed on thinner paper and separately numbered 1-32." (Woods, A1(a), p. 16)
The Story of the Malakand Field Force: An Episode of Frontier War was an 1898 book written by Winston Churchill; it was his first published work of non-fiction. The book describes a military campaign by the British army on the North West Frontier (now western Pakistan and eastern Afghanistan) in 1897. It is dedicated to General Bindon Blood.
The story of the campaign and Churchill's part in it is told in Con Coughlin 2013 book: Churchill's First War: Young Winston and the Fight Against the Taliban.
Seeking military distinction, the 22-year-old Winston S. Churchill talked his way into the Malakand Field Force as a war correspondent, reporting on the front line in a struggle against restless tribes on the Northwest Frontier. Churchill describes dramatic campaigns, his writing always rooted in the exotic and, at times, adverse environment of the area now part of Pakistan. This experience of entrenched and increasingly mechanized warfare almost certainly influenced his command during the First World War, when he was better able than most to understand the nature of military stalemate. In this, his first book, he collected his reports of the conflict, providing a fascinating look at the start of Churchill's career as both a writer and as a soldier.
Woods A1 (a) second state.