8 December 2015
[CHURCHILL, Winston S., his copy]. BLUNT, Wilfrid S. India Under Ripon. London: T. Fisher Unwin, 1909.
8° (229 x 147 mm). Half-title. Original blue boards, tan spine (hinges starting); black quarter morocco slipcase. Provenance: Winston S. Churchill (presentation inscription, bookplates); Malcolm S. Forbes, Jr. (sold Christie’s New York, 22 June 2012, lot 173).
FIRST EDITION, PRESENTATION COPY, inscribed: "Winston S. Churchill with kind regards from Wilfrid Scawen Blunt Novr 25, 1909 for Novr 30." AUTOGRAPH NOTE SIGNED BY CHURCHILL (“W.S.C.”) on pastedown: "This was the first copy printed." The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography describes Blunt succinctly, if incompletely, as "hedonist, poet and breeder of Arab horses." He was also an early and effective critic of British imperialism. He counted among his friends and admirers Oscar Wilde, Ezra Pound and the young Winston Churchill. The bulk of the book consists of Blunt's diary of his travels in India from 12 September 1883 to 1 March 1884. The final chapters are a revised version of his 1884 Ideas About India. he notes "the infinite poverty of its people; the economic ruin they had suffered at our hands...the arrogance of their official rulers; the growing ill-will between class and class, and the causes of what was rapidly becoming race-hatred between Englishman and Indian." A FINE ASSOCIATION COPY.
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