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    Inscribed by Churchill to His Friend and Commanding Officer in the Grenadier Guards, Whom He Wrote About in My Early Life

    Winston S Churchill. Marlborough. His Life and Times. London: George G. Harrap, [1933-1938]. First editions, except for Volume IV, which is a possible piracy, certainly a later edition. Front free endpaper of Volume I inscribed affectionately by Churchill to Brigadier General George Darrell Jeffreys (later the 1st Baron Jeffreys), who was Churchill's commanding officer in the Grenadier Guards during World War I: "To/'Ma' Jeffreys/from/an attached officer/Winston S. Churchill/Oct. 31[ink squiggle]1933". Four octavo volumes (Volume IV slightly smaller than Volumes I-III). With numerous maps and illustrations. Original glazed plum buckram over bevelled boards. Front covers stamped in gilt with Marlborough arms, spines lettered in gilt. Volume IV is bound in a blue cloth binding, spine lettered and ruled in gilt, with a hanging tab along the spine headcap. All volumes with Baron Jeffreys' two armorial bookplates. Spines sunned, some rubbing and soiling to bindings. Some foxing in text. Volume IV second gutter cracked, rear hinge starting, partial sticker removal on rear pastedown. Generally very good. Each volume housed in custom quarter burgundy morocco clamshell case.

    Churchill had great affection and admiration for Jeffreys, and even wrote about his experiences with Jeffreys during World War I, in My Early Life (1930, page 50): "Our Colonel, then the well-known 'Ma' Jeffreys, a super-martinet and a splendid officer utterly unaffected by sixteen months of the brunt, deprecated the use of alcohol (apart from the regular rum ration) on duty, even under the shocking winter weather and in the front line. It was his wish, though not his actual order, that it should not be taken into the trenches. In a dark and dripping dug-out a bottle of port was being consumed, when the cry, "Commanding Officer," was heard and Colonel Jeffreys began to descend the steps. A young officer in whom there evidently lay the germs of military genius instinctively stuck the guttering candle which lighted the dug-out into the mouth of the bottle. Such candlesticks were common. Everything passed off perfectly. However, six months later this young officer found himself on leave in the Guards' Club, and there met Colonel Jeffreys. "Have a glass of port wine?" said the Colonel. The subaltern accepted. The bottle was brought and the glasses emptied: "Does it taste of candle grease?" said the Colonel; and they both laughed together." Jeffreys (1878-1960) was a highly decorated and respected officer, earning many distinguished awards (Knight Commander of the Order of Bath, Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order, Companion of the Bath, and many others). After his distinguished military career in the Grenadier Guards, he retired from the army and pursued a political career, eventually becoming a Conservative Member of Parliament. A superb association copy, especially in light of the fact that Churchill dedicated Marlborough to the Grenadier Guards, a military unit that he held tremendous respect for. Woods A40(a). From the James and Deborah Boyd Collection.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2012
    11th Wednesday
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