GENERALS AND GENERALSHIP – Wavell: Churchill’s Copy

Posted on Sep 1, 2012

Churchill’s copy Generals and Generalship: The Lees Knowles Lectures delivered at Trinity College, Cambridge in 1939 by General Sir Archibald Wavell.

The Times Publishing Company Limited, 1941. 8vo. Seventh impression.
Presentation binding of blue cloth with gilt crest of Winchester College and with gilt stamped presentation inscription; pp. [vi] + 27 +[i]; bookplate of Sir Winston Churchill and of his son and biographer Randolph Churchill, with an ink presentation inscription signed “J.N.B” (i.e., Sir John Barran)

 Inside cover and first page: showing Churchill's bookplate and the author's inscription to him

The autograph presentation inscription from Barran to Churchill reads “W. S. C. d.d. J. N. B.” is dated December 1943 and is followed by a two line quotation from the Aeneid. The gilt stamped Latin inscription on the upper cover reads “Little book given by a Wykehamist (Barran) to a Wykehamist in honour of a Wykehamist (Wavell)”.

 The book by General Sir Archibald Wavell entitles Generals ands Generalship with its protective book-like case

Sir John Barran was parliamentary secretary to numerous political figures from 1909–16, including the Prime Minister and to Asquith from 1916–1918. His parliamentary career would certainly have given him the connection with Churchill to make this presentation. Barran had a number of these books bound in this fashion to give to fellow Wykehamists for Christmas 1941. As this copy was not presented until 1943 and Churchill was not, in fact, a Wykehamist, it seems Barran must have had at least one copy of the book left over which he presented later. This book must have been more popular than anticipated as this was the seventh impression in the first year of publication.

This copy is preserved in a labelled card-cover chemise which is housed in an elegant navy blue quarter morocco clamshell book-like box.
Estimated value: $850

this copy of Generals and Generalship is preserved in a labelled card-cover chemise which is housed in an elegant navy blue quarter morocco clamshell book-like box

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