London: William Heinemann Ltd., 1993. First edition, only printing. Hardcover. This is a set of British first editions of the three War Papers volumes, the final volumes of Winston Churchill’s Official Biography completed before the death of Churchill’s official biographer, Sir Martin Gilbert. The Official Biography of Winston Churchill, initiated by Randolph Churchill but substantially completed by Martin Gilbert, is an epic piece of scholarship about a singularly epic life, comprising eight mammoth main text volumes and - so far - nineteen accompanying document or "Companion" volumes. The eight main text volumes were originally published between 1966 and 1988. The three War Papers document volumes were the last completed by Gilbert before his death.
The three volumes of The War Papers were published by Heinemann between 1993 and 2000. The first 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. The second volume contains documents from May 1940, the month that Churchill became Prime Minister and Germany invaded France and the Low Countries, through December 1940, with Britain having fought off the immediate threat of Nazi invasion in the Battle of Britain, but nonetheless weak, isolated, and starved for supplies by the U-boat menace. The third volume contains documents from 1941, which ended with the attack on Pearl Harbor, formal entry of the United States into the war, and Churchill addressing both a joint session of the U.S. Congress, as well as the Canadian Parliament. There were both British and U.S. editions. These British first editions are considerably more scarce (particularly Volumes 1 & 2) and highly sought than the U.S. first editions, which are similar in appearance.
This set of all three features unread, near fine or better volumes in near fine or better dust jackets. The red cloth bindings of all three volumes are square, clean, and tight with sharp corners and bright spine gilt. We note only trivial shelf wear to extremities. The contents of all three volumes are crisp, clean, and bright with no spotting and no previous ownership marks. Even the page edges remain immaculately bright and clean. The dust jackets are crisp, clean, and complete, unclipped with no loss or appreciable wear. The sole defect noted is modest sunning to the Volume 2 spine. All three dust jackets are protected in removable, archival quality clear covers.
Reference: Zoller A302f1, A303f2, A302f3. Item #003563