London: Thornton Butterworth Limited, 1929. 1st Edition. Hardcover. This is the British first edition, first printing of the fifth and penultimate volume of Churchill's acclaimed history of the First World War. This fifth volume deals with the postwar years 1918 to 1928. Many consider the British edition aesthetically superior to the U.S., with its larger volumes and shoulder notes summarizing the subject of each page. Unfortunately, the smooth navy cloth of the British first editions proved quite susceptible to wear, the contents prone to spotting and toning. Moreover, the binding cloth of the fifth volume proved particularly susceptible to blistering.
Condition is very good plus in a very good plus original dust jacket. Blue cloth boards and spine show bright gilt, square corners, and only just a hint of the bubbling of the cloth endemic to this particular edition. The contents are crisp, bright, and tight, with a hint of spotting apparent only on the ffep an the fore edge and top edge of the text block. Errata present at p.9. The dust jacket is highly complete, with only minor wear at the corners and very modest chipping to a maximum depth of .25 inch at the head and tail of the spine. The spine is a little darkened, but quite presentable.
Published in six volumes between 1923 and 1931, The World Crisis spans the 1911-1918 war years, with two supplemental volumes covering the postwar years 1918-1928 (The Aftermath) and the Eastern theatre (The Eastern Front). Of The World Crisis, Frederick Woods wrote: "The volumes contain some of Churchill's finest writing, weaving the many threads together with majestic ease, describing the massive battles in terms which fitly combine relish of the literary challenge with an awareness of the sombre tragedy of the events." Churchill was in a special position to write this history, having served both in the Cabinet and on the Front. Churchill served as First Lord of the Admiralty from 1911 until 1915, but after the failure in the Dardanelles, he was scapegoated and forced to resign. He spent his political exile as a lieutenant colonel leading a battalion in the trenches.
Before the war's end, Churchill was exonerated and rejoined the Government, foreshadowing the political isolation and restoration he would experience nearly two decades later leading up to the Second World War. Despite Churchill's political recovery, the stigma of the Dardanelles would linger. Churchill may have meant for his history of the First World War to clear his name, but his six volume masterwork far exceeds this purpose.
Reference: Cohen A69.2(IV).b, Woods A31(bb). Item #000405