London: T. Fisher Unwin, 1909.
First edition. 343,  pp. 8vo. CHURCHILL'S COPY: THE FIRST ONE PRINTED. A fine copy, untrimmed in publisher's linen-backed boards, bookplates to front pastedown, presentation inscription on front free endpaper. Housed in a custom black quarter morocco box with red leather labels. Warren Dockter, “The Influence of a Poet: Wilfrid S. Blunt and the Churchills,’” Journal of Historical Biography 10 (Autumn 2011): pp 70-102. Item #302663
Presented by Blunt to Churchill, "Winston S. Churchill with kind regards from Wilfrid Scawen Blunt. Nov 25 1909 for Nov 30." In his distinctive hand, Churchill has added on the front pastedown: "This was the first copy printed WSC." There are the blookplates of both Winston Churchill and his son, Randolph.
Dokter notes in his article on Blunt's influence on Churchill, "Blunt continued to pressure Churchill to be an imperial reformer in the same way he had done with Lord Randolph. After discussing his latest book, India Under Ripon, with Churchill, Blunt concluded that Winston was "much more favourable to my anti-Imperial views than he was two months ago. Indeed he is almost converted to the view that the British Empire will eventually ruin England" (Dockter).
The relationship between Blunt and Winston Churchill is well-known if under-reported. Blunt - poet, hedonist, diplomat, traveller and radical anti-Imperialist - was a good friend of Randolph Churchill and assisted the young Winston in his biography of his father.
Blunt had no small influence over Churchill's early political career, especially toward Home Rule in Ireland, and prison reform. He prosecuted his anti-Imperialist agenda at every opportunity, including policy in Somaliland, and the treatment of muslims in Crete. Blunt's influence began to wane once Churchill was appointed First Lord of the Admiralty in 1911 when they drifted over policy regarding the Empire. However, they maintained a strong friendship.
This volume is a wonderful and apposite emblem of their relationship.
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