London: William Heinemann Ltd., 1993. First edition, only printing. 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.
This is the British first edition of the first volume of The War Papers, inscribed and dated by the author. The inked inscription in five lines on the title page reads: "To Richard and Daniel Goldstein | with the author's regards and all good wishes | Martin Gilbert | London | 1st October 1998". The first three lines are inked above the title, the city and date are inked beside the publisher's device. The War Papers are the companion document volumes accompanying Volume VI of Churchill's Official Biography. This volume contains documents from the outbreak of the Second World War in September 1939 to May 1940, the month that Churchill became Prime Minister and Germany invaded France and the low countries. This British first edition is considerably more scarce and highly sought than the U.S. first edition, which is similar in appearance.
This copy is not only inscribed and dated by the author, but near fine in a near fine dust jacket. The red cloth binding is square, clean, and tight, retaining sharp corners, a nicely rounded spine, and bright spine gilt. Minor wrinkling at the spine ends is the only flaw noted. The contents are bright and clean with no spotting or previous ownership marks other than the author's inscription. The dust jacket is bright, clean, and unclipped, with no losses or tears. Notably, the red dust jacket spine is entirely unfaded, with no color shift between the jacket faces and spine. The only dust jacket flaw noted is a minor scratch to the lower portion of the rear dust jacket face. The dust jacket is protected in a removable, archival quality clear cover.
Reference: Zoller A302f2. Item #002641