Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1978. 1st Edition. Hardcover. The Official Biography of Winston Churchill, initiated by Randolph Churchill but completed by Martin Gilbert, is an epic piece of scholarship about a singularly epic life, comprising eight mammoth main text volumes and - so far - seventeen accompanying document or "Companion" volumes. The eight main text volumes were published between 1966 and 1988. Publication of the Companion volumes was completed in 2019.
These three volumes accompany the fourth volume of Churchill's Official Biography and cover January 1917 to November 1922, encompassing Churchill's return to the government after the Dardanelles disaster and his final six years in power as a Liberal, serving at various Cabinet posts in the coalition government of Lloyd George. This is the elusive U.S. first edition, only printing, which is far more scarce than its British counterpart.
This is a full set of all three Volume IV companions, near-fine in very good dust jackets. The British first editions were bound in solid red cloth. These U.S. editions were more elaborately bound, with tan linen spines over dark red buckram boards with red spine title blocks printed in black and gilt. The bindings also feature head and foot bands and dark blue ruled transitions at the border between the tan linen and red buckram. Here the bindings are clean, bright, tight, and square. The only exterior flaws we find are bumps at the Part 3 lower corners and upper spine. The contents are crisp, clean, and bright. No spotting. No previous ownership marks. We note a hint of soiling to the top edges and that the lower portion of pages 1637-1640 of Part 3 were not fully trimmed by the binder.
All three dust jackets are unclipped, still bearing the original price on the upper front flap. All three jackets are also complete, with no losses or tears. The spine lettering of this edition proved incredibly vulnerable to sunning, often fading to nearly white. This set is an exception, featuring bright, entirely unfaded spine printing. Unfortunately, the spines are toned and soiled, most significantly on the Part 3 dust jacket. The blank rear faces show lighter soiling with the front faces remaining clean and bright. The only signs of jacket wear are slight wrinkling at a few spine ends. The dust jackets are protected in removable, archival quality clear covers. Note that this large, heavy set may require additional postage.
Reference: Zoller A302d. Item #001864