Arms and the Covenant in the striking wartime dust jacket. Winston S. Churchill.
Arms and the Covenant in the striking wartime dust jacket
Arms and the Covenant in the striking wartime dust jacket
Arms and the Covenant in the striking wartime dust jacket
Arms and the Covenant in the striking wartime dust jacket
Arms and the Covenant in the striking wartime dust jacket
Arms and the Covenant in the striking wartime dust jacket
Arms and the Covenant in the striking wartime dust jacket
Arms and the Covenant in the striking wartime dust jacket
Arms and the Covenant in the striking wartime dust jacket

Arms and the Covenant in the striking wartime dust jacket

London: George G. Harrap & Co., Ltd., 1938. First edition, only printing. Hardcover. This is the precursor to Churchill's great war speeches, the British first edition in the rare yellow dust jacket issued just after Churchill became Prime Minister. The book contains a collection of speeches spanning the years 1928 to 1938 criticizing British foreign policy, his prophetic warnings and exhortations both prophetic and largely unheeded. 5,000 copies of this first and only British impression were printed, of which at least 3,381 and perhaps more than 4,000 were sold with the pale blue, first state dust jacket. The balance - no more than 1,619 copies and quite likely fewer - were offered at a lower price in June 1940 bearing a striking yellow dust jacket. Because the price was reduced with the yellow dust jacket, this has often been called by bibliographers the "Cheap" issue. Given that Churchill had just become Prime Minister in May 1940, it might be more fittingly called the "I Told You So" issue. The yellow dust jackets were issued on laid paper printed red on the front face and spine with a blank rear face and rear flap. Given the inherent sensitivities of the yellow paper and red print, the paper is quite susceptible to soiling and the red spine lettering is nearly always quite faded. Today these yellow, wartime dust jackets are quite rare, considerably scarcer than their pale blue first issue counterparts. This is a near fine copy in a very good plus dust jacket, housed in a full navy goatskin Solander case. The signal feature of this jacket is bright, entirely unfaded red spine print, which we seldom see. The dust jacket is neatly substantially complete, with a neatly price-clipped lower front flap, fractional loss at the upper hinges and flap fold corners, a .875 x .25 inch (2.22 x .64 cm) loss consuming most of the final three letters of the publisher’s name at the spine heel, and a tiny chip to the lower right corner of the blank rear face. We also note a few short closed tears to the upper edges. Modest overall soiling does not appreciably dim the vivid hues of this jacket, which is now protected beneath a removable, clear, archival cover. The volume beneath is unusually clean and bright. The navy cloth binding is square, tight, and unfaded with the sole exception of a hint of sunning to the lower spine extremity, corresponding to the minor dust jacket loss. Wear is trivial, confined to a little wrinkling of the spine ends and tiny bumps to the lower corners. The contents retain a crisp feel and, atypical for the edition, suffer no spotting. Previous ownership marks are confined to an illustrated bookplate affixed to the front pastedown and a significantly faded inked name on the front free endpaper recto. The otherwise clean fore and bottom edges show some age-toning, the blue-stained top edge some dulling. The full navy goatskin clamshell case features rounded and hubbed spine with gilt decorated and gilt-rule framed raised spine bands, gilt spine print, and gilt-ruled borders on the covers. Condition of the case is immaculately fine. The world remembers the resolute war leader to whom the British turned, but it is easy to overlook Churchill’s “wilderness years” of the 1930s, which Churchill spent out of power and out of favor, persistently warning about the growing Nazi threat and routinely at odds with both his own Conservative Party leadership and prevailing public sentiment. It is instructive to note that this book was published three months before the morally specious and politically futile concessions of the Munich Agreement. Churchill bibliographer Frederick Woods called this edition of Churchill’s speeches "probably the most crucial volume of speeches that he ever published". As testimony to the book's importance, a copy of the U.S. edition lay on "President Roosevelt's bedside table, with key passages, including an analysis of the president's peace initiative, underscored." (William Manchester's The Last Lion, Volume II, p.305). Reference: Cohen A107.3, Woods/ICS A44(a), Langworth p.192. Item #006023

Price: $2,850.00

See all items in First Editions
See all items by