A History of the English-Speaking Peoples, inscribed in the first volume a week prior to publication. Winston S. Churchill.
A History of the English-Speaking Peoples, inscribed in the first volume a week prior to publication
A History of the English-Speaking Peoples, inscribed in the first volume a week prior to publication
A History of the English-Speaking Peoples, inscribed in the first volume a week prior to publication
A History of the English-Speaking Peoples, inscribed in the first volume a week prior to publication
A History of the English-Speaking Peoples, inscribed in the first volume a week prior to publication
A History of the English-Speaking Peoples, inscribed in the first volume a week prior to publication
A History of the English-Speaking Peoples, inscribed in the first volume a week prior to publication

A History of the English-Speaking Peoples, inscribed in the first volume a week prior to publication

London: Cassell and Company, Ltd., 1956. First edition, first printing. Hardcover. This is a jacketed, British first edition set, inscribed in Volume I seven days prior to the 23 April 1956 publication date. The inked inscription in five lines on the Volume I front free endpaper reads: “To | F. Rose | from | Winston S. Churchill | 16 Ap. 1956”. Provenance is the collection of Churchill’s bibliographer, Ronald I. Cohen. Churchill's four volume epic, A History of the English-Speaking Peoples, was published between 1956 and 1958.  The work traces a great historical arc from Roman Britain through the end of the Nineteenth Century, ending with the death of Queen Victoria. Perhaps not coincidentally, this is the very year that saw Churchill conclude his first North American lecture tour, take his first seat in Parliament, and begin to make history himself. The work itself was two decades in the making.  The Churchillian conceptions that underpinned it were lifelong. The cultural commonality and vitality of English-speaking peoples animated Churchill throughout his life, from his Victorian youth in an ascendant British Empire to his twilight in the midst of the American century. Churchill began A History of the English-Speaking Peoples in the 1930s, completing a draft of "about half a million words" which was set aside when Churchill returned to the Admiralty and to war in September 1939.  The work was fittingly interrupted by an unprecedented alliance among the English-speaking peoples during the Second World War - an alliance Churchill personally did much to cultivate, cement, and sustain.  The interruption continued as Churchill bent his literary efforts to his six-volume history, The Second World War, and then his remaining political energies to his second and final premiership from 1951-1955. This first edition is regarded as one of the most beautiful productions of Churchill's works, with tall red volumes and striking, illustrated dust jackets. Churchill seems to have taken an active and detailed interest in the aesthetics of the publication. He told his doctor that "it is not necessary to break the back of the book to keep it open. I made them take away a quarter of an inch from the outer margins of the two pages and then add the half-inch so gained to the inner margin." He was clearly satisfied with the result, remarking with pardonable exuberance "It opens like an angel's wings." (Gilbert, Volume VIII, p.1184) All four volumes in this set are first edition, first printing. The identity of “F. Rose” to whom Volume I is inscribed is unknown, though likely someone known to Churchill given the pre-publication inscription. Condition of the inscribed Volume I is very good in a very good dust jacket. The red cloth binding is square and tight with sharp corners, unfaded color, vivid spine gilt and just a little light scuffing to the front cover. The contents are bright with no previous ownership marks. Very light spotting appears confined to the fore and bottom edges and the endpapers. The red topstain is only mildly sunned. The chief aesthetic flaw that prevents our grading this volume as near fine or better is a dark moisture stain (perhaps tea) affecting 2.5 vertical inches of the lower fore edge from p.291 to p.416. The stain is almost entirely confined to the fore edge, barely penetrating the blank text margins within. The Volume I dust jacket is complete, unclipped with no losses and showing no discernible spine toning. We note light overall soiling and a brown stain to the upper front face. The balance of the set features very good volumes with no previous ownership marks or spotting in very good dust jackets. The Volume II-IV dust jackets show light wear to extremities and some spine toning. The lower front flap of the Volume II dust jacket is neatly price-clipped. The Volume III & IV jackets are unclipped. All four dust jackets are protected with removable, archival quality clear covers. Bibliographic reference: Cohen A267.1(I-IV).a, Woods/ICS A138(aa), Langworth p.315. Item #004005

Price: $6,000.00

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