New York: The British Library of Information, 1940. British Library of Information edition, only printing. Leaflet. This item is from the personal collection of Churchill's bibliographer, Ronald I. Cohen. This is the first edition, only printing of Churchill's October 21, 1940 broadcast speech to the French people. This speech was made from the Cabinet War Rooms very close to the end of the Battle of Britain. About this speech, Churchill wrote after the war: "I took great pains to prepare this short address, as it had to be given in French. I was not satisfied with the literal translation at first provided, which did not give the spirit of what I could say in English and could feel in French, but Mr. Dejean, one of the Free French Staff in London, made a far better rendering, which I rehearsed several times and delivered from the basement of the Annexe, amid the crashes of an air raid." (Churchill, Their Finest Hour, p.509)
Appealing to French pride and reassuring the French of British intentions and resolve, Churchill asked: "Frenchmen - re-arm your spirits before it is too late... Now what is it we British ask of you in this present hard and bitter time? What we ask at this moment in our struggle to win the victory which we will share with you, is that if you cannot help us, at least you will not hinder us... Good night, then. Sleep to gather strength for the morning. For the morning will come." (Churchill, Their Finest Hour, pp. 511-512)
This pamphlet is one in a series of Churchill's speeches printed by the British Library of Information in New York. As do most in the series, this example bears a cover design featuring 3 vertical rules along the right side and a royal arms device at the top right. The British Library of Information published twenty-nine editions of statements, speeches, and broadcast addresses by Prime Minister Winston Churchill, beginning with his first speech as Prime Minister of May 13. 1940 and ending with the broadcast address of November 29, 1942. These editions were often issued within two or three days of delivery and "reveal the political determination of the British government to bring the inspiration and steadfastness of the Prime Minister and the British nation to an American nation not yet engaged in the war. Indeed, twenty-two of the BLOI speech pamphlets were published before Pearl Harbor." (Cohen, Volume I, p.513, A120)
This four page folded paper leaflet measures 9.25 inches tall x 6 inches wide. Condition is very good plus. The leaflet is clean and complete, with no losses, tears, wear, soiling, or previous ownership marks. We note a faint trace of wrinkling to the top edge and slight differential toning to the upper third of the front cover, ostensibly resulting from another book or pamphlet laying partially atop this one for a period of time. The leaflet is protected in a removable, clear mylar sleeve.
Reference: Cohen A132.1, Woods A61. Item #003163