New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1927. First edition. Hardcover. This is a spectacular, jacketed U.S. first edition set of the 1916-1918 volumes of Churchill's The World Crisis in the rare original publisher's slipcase. A quarter of a century before the Second World War endowed him with lasting fame, Winston Churchill played a uniquely critical, controversial, and varied role in the “War to end all wars”. The events of these 1916-1918 volumes include Churchill's time at the Front following his political exile and his subsequent return to the Cabinet.
The U.S. is the true first edition, as U.S. Volume I publication preceded the British. Both the U.S. and British editions were originally published as six individual books between 1923 and 1931. Today, jacketed first editions are quite scarce - jacketed U.S. editions even more so. Perhaps most scarce is the original U.S. publisher's slipcase for the 1916-1918 first editions; Charles Scribner's Sons originally issued the two 1916-1918 volumes as a boxed set.
The cardboard slipcase bears three pasted labels. A large, 8.25 x 5.75 inch label printed dark red on ivory on the right side of the slipcase bears an extensive blurb about Churchill and the work. A smaller label on the upper spine of the slipcase, likewise printed dark red on ivory, measures 4 x 3.25 inches and bears the title, author, and publisher. A bright orange label on the lower portion of the slipcase spine measuring 3.75 x 3 inches bears black ink print advertising Churchill's preceding World Crisis volumes.
Here is an absolutely pristine, as new first edition set of the 1916-1918 volumes in fine dust jackets, housed in the original publisher's slipcase. The books themselves are as-new. The bindings are immaculate and improbably bright, with absolutely no wear or flaws to report. The contents are likewise pristine - unreservedly crisp, bright, and clean. The books are clearly unread and appear in virtually the same condition as when they were issued in 1927. We note only a tiny Boston bookseller sticker on the lower left front free endpaper of each volume. The dust jackets are truly fine examples, entirely complete with no losses or tears and retaining the "$10.00 Two Volumes" price on the front flap. Trivial flaws are limited to slight toning to the jacket spines, a hint of wear at the spine ends, and a faint one inch scratch to the Volume II lower spine. We have fitted both dust jackets with removable, archival quality clear covers.
The original publisher's slipcase has done its job protecting the spectacular books and dust jackets within, but has endured some expected age and wear in the process. Nonetheless, the slipcase is entirely complete and still in one piece, with all three publisher's labels fully intact. Six of the eight seams are intact; only the short upper and lower horizontal seams at the back of the slipcase are split. There is wear at the opening edges, fraying at the split upper and lower rear seams, and light overall soiling. The slipcase is original and unrestored, but the seam splits are easily repaired with archival tape, at which point the slipcase will regain structural integrity.
The six volumes of The World Crisis span the 1911-1918 war years, including two supplemental volumes covering the postwar years 1918-1928 (The Aftermath) and the Eastern theatre (The Eastern Front). 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.
Reference: Cohen A69.1(III-1&2).a, Woods/ICS A31(aa), Langworth p.104. Item #001776