New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1938. First edition, only printing. Hardcover. This is a jacketed U.S. first edition, only printing of the sixth and final volume of Winston Churchill's monumental biography of his great ancestor, John Churchill, the first Duke of Marlborough. Churchill's Marlborough was initially conceived a full 40 years before publication of the fourth and final volume. Churchill originally considered the idea of the biography in 1898, returning to it in earnest in 1928. Marlborough ultimately took 10 years of research and writing and is the most substantial published work of Churchill's "wilderness years" in the 1930s. The final volume was published on the eve of the Second World War in 1938. Richard Langworth says "To understand the Churchill of the Second World War, the majestic blending of his commanding English with historical precedent, one has to read Marlborough."
The British first edition was issued in four volumes. The U.S. publisher chose to split the first two volumes into two books each, resulting in a six volume set that is otherwise the same in content as the British. This U.S. first edition, only printing of Volume VI is near fine in an original blue and gold dust jacket. Volume VI saw fewer copies issued than any of the five preceding volumes and only one printing. The green cloth binding is square, clean, and tight with bright spine gilt. We note only minor shelf wear to the bottom edge and a small bump to the lower rear corner. The contents remain clean with no spotting. Slight differential toning to the endpapers corresponding to the dust jacket flaps confirms what the bright binding already tells us - that this copy has spent life jacketed. The first free endpaper bears a simple inked inscription "Poppa from Buzz Christmas, 1938" and a tiny Boston bookshop sticker. There is slight age-toning to the otherwise clean page edges.
The dust jacket is unclipped, retaining the original $2.75 front flap price, and retains fairly bright color, but suffers a .75 inch loss at the spine head (but with almost no loss to the title print) and a further 1.5 inch closed tear below extending to just above the author's name. The dust jacket is protected in a removable, archival quality clear cover.
Reference: Cohen A97.4(VI).a, Woods/ICS A49(ba), Langworth p.169. Item #003097