MY EARLY LIFE is Churchill's autobiography. Highly readable, always popular. It has been reprinted countless times and translated into over a dozen languages. Nice first editions are scarce and dustwrappers truly rare. A substantial collection could be formed just of this one title. There were several variations on the first edition- The front board was blocked in either 3 lines or 5 lines; the list of prior works on the half title sometimes did not include a 12th title (World Crisis 1911-1914) and the cloth could be either smooth or coarse. In theory that is a total of 8 possible combinations.....
The American First edition was titled A ROVING COMMISSION. Its bright red cloth binding fades easily, and the dustwrapper is scarce, but sometimes available. Collectors should note that the second printing, also 1930, differs only in the lack of the "A" on the copyright page. The Canadian first edition is truly rare and can be identified only by its unique dustwarpper with $4.50 price on the spine.
The British publisher, Thornton Butterworth, re-issued the book in the Keystone Library, using the same setting and binding as the first edition. This is the best opportunity to acquire a pre-war dustjacket of this title. New editions flowed regularly. Macmillan had several printings during the war, and Odhams sold lots in the late 1940's. One reprint of special interest is that published by Scribner's 1939-1941 with an introduction by noted journalist Dorothy Thompson, which came in a stunning blue and orange dustwrapper. Scribners had numerous later repints through the 40's and 50's, and even into the 70's in the hard to find Hudson River edition. A paperback was issued by Fontana in 1959 and had at least 18 impressions. Scribner's also did a number of trade paperbacks in the 60's and 70's. The last hardback edition was in the Leo Cooper series in 1989, and is now out of print.
|English 1sts||US 1sts||Canadian 1sts|
|Keystone Library||Thompson intro.||Macmillan reprints|
|Odhams reprints||Scribner reprints||Fontana pb's|
|Scribner pb's||Hudson River||Leo Cooper|