His Greatest Years
Price: 25.00 USD
Toronto: Swan Publishing Co, 1965. This is a posthumous illustrated publication containing a compelling collection of photographs of Churchill. Bibliographer Curt Zoller notes that it is "The only publication containing all three Yousuf Karsh photos taken after Churchill's speech to the Canadian Parliament in 1941. Along with the famous "angry lion" and "smiling lion" photos is a third picture, perhaps the best, of WSC with Canadian Prime Minister Mackenzie King." (Zoller, A296, p.56). Fittingly, given that Karsh made Canada his home and his portraits of Churchill taken in Canada, this is a Canadian publication. The format is an 8.375 x 11.875 inch (21.27 x 30.16 cm) magazine style, bound in wire-stitched illustrated paper wraps and 48 pages in length. As advertised on the copyright page by the publisher, "Karsh portraits suitable for framing" are found at "Front Cover, Page 24, Page 25, Page 46, Back Cover". Condition is good, complete with both binding staples intact. We note moderate wear to extremities and a faint tide mark to the bottom edge, mostly affecting blank lower margins. The magazine is housed in a removable, clear, archival sleeve. Yousuf Karsh's iconic images of Churchill featured prominently in this publication were captured on 30 December 1941 in Ottawa, Canada. In the days after the 7 December 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States formally entered the Second World War, marking the end of Britain's solitary stand against Hitler's Germany, which it had sustained since the fall of France. Immediately after Pearl Harbor, Churchill decided to travel to North America - a perilous journey he made by battleship at a time when German U-Boats plagued the North Atlantic. On 26 December 1941 Churchill addressed a joint session of the U.S. Congress. A few days later, on 30 December, he addressed both houses of the Canadian Parliament. Thrust into the historic moment was 33-year-old Yousuf Karsh (1908-2002). Born in Armenian Turkey, Karsh had fled on foot with his family to Syria before immigrating to Canada in 1924 as a refugee. After his speech to the Canadian Parliament, Churchill was ushered to the Speaker's Chamber, where, at the invitation of the Canadian government, Karsh had anxiously set up his camera and lighting equipment the night before. One of the images captured by Karsh, which Karsh titled "The Roaring Lion" ,appeared on the cover of Life magazine and established Karsh's international reputation and remains an archetypal photographic portrayal of Churchill's wartime persona. This magazine is one among a large number of posthumous publications about Churchill published in 1965. On Sunday, 24 January 1965, Winston Churchill died at the age of 90. By the time of his death, he had become "a living national memorial" of the time he had lived and the Nation, Empire, and free world he had served. His death completed his transformation into a national icon. The day after Churchill died, on 25 January, the Queen sent a message to Parliament announcing: "Confident in the support of Parliament for the due acknowledgement of our debt of gratitude and in thanksgiving for the life and example of a national hero" and concluded "I have directed that Sir Winston's body shall lie in State in Westminster Hall and that thereafter the funeral service shall be held in the Cathedral Church of St. Paul." The outpouring of national and international sorrow and regard - from friends and foes, sympathizers and opponents alike - was both remarkable and effusive. Churchill's full state funeral at the Cathedral of St. Paul in London was attended by the Queen herself, other members of the royal family, the Prime Minister, Harold Wilson, and representatives of 112 countries. Churchill was interred in St. Martin's churchyard, Bladon, Oxfordshire. It was the first time in a century that a British monarch attended a commoner's funeral. First edition.