Winston S. Churchill, The Official Biography, full set of 8 main text volumes, Volumes III-V each inscribed and dated by Sir Martin Gilbert. Randolph S. Churchill, Martin Gilbert.
Winston S. Churchill, The Official Biography, full set of 8 main text volumes, Volumes III-V each inscribed and dated by Sir Martin Gilbert
Winston S. Churchill, The Official Biography, full set of 8 main text volumes, Volumes III-V each inscribed and dated by Sir Martin Gilbert
Winston S. Churchill, The Official Biography, full set of 8 main text volumes, Volumes III-V each inscribed and dated by Sir Martin Gilbert
Winston S. Churchill, The Official Biography, full set of 8 main text volumes, Volumes III-V each inscribed and dated by Sir Martin Gilbert
Winston S. Churchill, The Official Biography, full set of 8 main text volumes, Volumes III-V each inscribed and dated by Sir Martin Gilbert
Winston S. Churchill, The Official Biography, full set of 8 main text volumes, Volumes III-V each inscribed and dated by Sir Martin Gilbert
Winston S. Churchill, The Official Biography, full set of 8 main text volumes, Volumes III-V each inscribed and dated by Sir Martin Gilbert
Winston S. Churchill, The Official Biography, full set of 8 main text volumes, Volumes III-V each inscribed and dated by Sir Martin Gilbert
Winston S. Churchill, The Official Biography, full set of 8 main text volumes, Volumes III-V each inscribed and dated by Sir Martin Gilbert

Winston S. Churchill, The Official Biography, full set of 8 main text volumes, Volumes III-V each inscribed and dated by Sir Martin Gilbert

Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1966. First edition. Hardcover. This is a full U.S. first edition set of the main text volumes of Winston Churchill’s Official Biography, signed by the author in three volumes. The front free endpaper recto of Volumes III, IV, and V were each inscribed and dated by Sir Martin Gilbert at Oxford on the same day in January, 1981. The Volume III front free endpaper inscription, in seven lines, reads: “To Jenny | - with all good wishes in your task | Martin Gilbert | Oxford | 10th | January | 1981”. The Volume IV inscription, in four lines, reads: “To Jenny | - with the author’s kind regards | Martin Gilbert | 10th January 1981”. The Volume V inscription, in five lines, reads: “To Jenny | - with all good wishes from the author | Martin | The Map House | 10th January 1981”. The identity of the recipient is unknown to us, but the inscriptions evince a salutary warmth, particularly the one signed “Martin”. This thrice-inscribed set features near fine or better volumes in near fine or better dust jackets. The bindings are uniformly square, clean, and tight. All eight volumes are first edition, first printing. We find no previous ownership marks in the set other than the aforementioned author’s inscriptions. Incidental and unobtrusive spotting appears confined to the Volume III, IV, and V page edges. The pages of all eight volumes are otherwise as clean and bright as the contents. The dust jackets are clean and complete, all eight retaining the publisher’s original front flap prices. Notably, all eight jackets are unfaded, with no color shift between the covers and spines even on the notoriously fade-prone Volume IV and V dust jackets. We note only light wear to a few hinges and extremities and a bit of a dimple to the center spine of the otherwise immaculate Volume VI dust jacket. All eight jackets are protected beneath removable, clear mylar covers. The Official Biography was begun by Winston’s son, Randolph Churchill (1911-1968), and completed by Sir Martin Gilbert (1936-2015). In 1962, at the age of 25, Martin Gilbert joined Churchill's biography team, then led by Churchill's son Randolph. Of what became his life's work, Gilbert says: "I'd thought I'd last four or five months." Instead, when Randolph died in 1968 with only two of the eight volumes completed, Gilbert took over, committing a substantial portion of his scholarship and life's work to documenting, comprehending, and communicating what Gilbert called the "remarkable and versatile life" of Winston Churchill. The result is an epic piece of scholarship about a singularly epic life. Both British and U.S. first editions of the eight main text volumes were originally published between 1966 and 1988. These substantial main text volumes comprise the narrative story of Churchill’s life. The British first editions were bound in solid red cloth. These U.S. editions were more elaborately bound, with tan linen spines over blue buckram boards with blue spine title blocks printed in red and gilt. The bindings also feature head and foot bands and red ruled transitions at the border between the tan linen and blue buckram. The final three volumes were issued in illustrated dust jackets, while the dust jackets of the first five volumes were issued in un-illustrated solid colors, similar to their British first edition counterparts. These eight U.S. first edition main text volumes make an impressive shelf presence, consuming 17 inches of shelf space and weighing 27 pounds. Each of the main text volumes was accompanied by additional scholarship in the form of either two or three volumes of documents, titled “Companion” volumes. Sixteen of these document volumes were completed before Sir Martin Gilbert’s death. Work on the document volumes for the final decades of Churchill’s life continues today under the aegis of Hillsdale College. Please note that this is a large and heavy set that will likely require additional postage. Bibliographic reference: Zoller A301a-h. Item #004983

Price: $1,250.00

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