Bombay: H. W. Smith at The Times of India Press, 1940. First edition, only printing. Pamphlets. Here is a rare three-pamphlet series of Winston Churchill wartime speech publications. Each is quite scarce individually and we know of no other available sets of all three in the series. Most collectors know about the popular wartime Churchill speech pamphlets, such the HMSO pamphlet bearing "The Few" speech of August 20th, 1940. These are readily available and reasonably common, even if expensive. However, many other wartime Churchill speech pamphlets were produced, some of which are far more scarce, bibliographically notable, and hardly ever seen. This set is an example.
During the early years of the Second World War the Times of India produced a series of three pamphlets. Each is a collection of Churchill speeches published in Bombay in 1940 and 1941, each measuring 7.125 x 4.75 inches and bound in wire-stitched paper wraps, with an iconic photo of Churchill on the front cover. The "First Series" features speeches spanning May 14th to July 14th 1940. The "Second Series" includes speeches spanning August 20th to November 21st 1940. The "Third Series" and final pamphlet features speeches spanning February 9th to August 24th, 1941. In addition to being rare, all three pamphlets are bibliographically significant. The "First Series" pamphlet is the first volume appearance of Churchill's House of Commons speech of 25 June 1940 regarding the fall of France. The "Second Series" pamphlet is the first volume appearance of the speeches of 5, 11, and 19 September, 8 October, and 9, 13, and 21 November 1940. These speeches from the first two pamphlets were subsequently collected in Into Battle. The "Third Series" pamphlet is the first volume appearance of the speeches of 9 April, 16 June, and 9, 14, and 15 July 1941. These speeches were subsequently collected in The Unrelenting Struggle.
On most of the few occasions we have seen any of these pamphlets offered, they have either lacked or suffered considerable damage to the pictorial wraps. Each of these three pamphlets is in near very good or better condition, particularly given the inherent fragility and wartime colonial origins. None of the illustrated front wraps shows any loss and the only previous ownership mark we find in the set is the red ink stamp of a Calcutta bookseller on the lower rear cover of the First Series pamphlet. The First Series pamphlet is intact and unrestored; the wraps are still attached with both binding staples intact. The blank rear wrap shows some soiling and spotting and a .5 x .75 inch triangular loss at the upper corner. The binding staples show some rust but remain firm. The contents remain surprisingly crisp, clean, and bright with no spotting. The Second Series pamphlet retains complete covers, with no losses or tears, but shows overall soiling and spotting, with some staining to the lower rear cover and along the spine, where it appears a discreet amount of glue may have been applied long ago to reinforce the spine. Both binding staples remain firmly intact. The contents remain quite bright, with no previous ownership marks. We note light soiling to the first and final pages and the page edges, and a faint vertical crease running the length of the booklet at the center. The Third Series pamphlet shows no losses to the covers, the binding staples remain intact, and the contents remain bright with light spotting to the page edges. We do note wear along the spine and expect that the covers have had some discreet glue reinforcement at the spine. All three pamphlets are preserved in a removable, archival clear mylar sleeve.
Reference: Cohen A130, A135, and A154; Woods D(a)7(a), Woods D(a)7(b), and not found in Woods (Third Series). Item #003475