Marlborough: His Life and Times, Volumes I & II in the first printing, first state dust jackets and publisher's slipcase. Winston S. Churchill.
Marlborough: His Life and Times, Volumes I & II in the first printing, first state dust jackets and publisher's slipcase
Marlborough: His Life and Times, Volumes I & II in the first printing, first state dust jackets and publisher's slipcase
Marlborough: His Life and Times, Volumes I & II in the first printing, first state dust jackets and publisher's slipcase
Marlborough: His Life and Times, Volumes I & II in the first printing, first state dust jackets and publisher's slipcase
Marlborough: His Life and Times, Volumes I & II in the first printing, first state dust jackets and publisher's slipcase

Marlborough: His Life and Times, Volumes I & II in the first printing, first state dust jackets and publisher's slipcase

New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1933. First edition. Hardcover. This is a U.S. first edition set of the first two volumes of Churchill’s Marlborough in the first state dust jackets and publisher’s slipcase. 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 identical in content to the British. These first four U.S. volumes were originally issued in two-volume sets, with cream-colored dust jackets featuring green print, each two-volume set housed in an illustrated publisher’s slipcase. Only in 1938, when the sixth and final U.S. volume was published, were the more commonly seen blue and gold dust jackets issued. Today the first state dust jackets are scarcer than their blue and gold counterparts, the original publisher’s slipcases scarcer still. Here are magnificently fine copies of the first two volumes in very good plus, first state dust jackets, housed in the publisher’s slipcase. The green cloth bindings are immaculate – square, clean, bright, and tight with sharp corners, bright spine gilt, and no appreciable wear. The contents are pristine – improbably bright (owing to protection within the slipcase) with no spotting or previous ownership marks. The set feels unread. The dust jackets are clean and nearly complete, with only fractional chipping to extremities. The Volume I rear panel and Volume II front panel show mild transfer browning, consonant with long proximity to the cardboard slipcase sides. The spines are show modest, uniform toning and light scuffing. The dust jackets are protected with removable, archival quality clear covers. The illustrated publisher’s slipcase shows a split to the upper right seam but is otherwise intact with light soiling and minor wear to extremities. Winston Churchill's monumental biography of his great ancestor, John Churchill, the first Duke of 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. This decade saw Churchill pass into his sixties with his own future as uncertain as that of his nation. It is perhaps not incidental that Churchill’s great work of the 1930s was about a great ancestor. Churchill may have wondered more than once if the life history he was writing might ultimately eclipse his own. 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.” Two months after Volume I was published, on 12 December 1933, T.E. Lawrence wrote to Churchill: “I finished it only yesterday. I wish I had not… The skeleton of the book is so good. Its parts balance and the main stream flows… Marlborough has the big scene-painting, the informed pictures of men, the sober comment on political method, the humour, irony and understanding of your normal writing: but beyond that it shows more discipline and strength: and great dignity. It is history, solemn and decorative.” Bibliographic reference: A97.4(I&II).a, Woods/ICS A49(ba), Langworth p.169. Item #004363

Price: $340.00

See all items in First Editions
See all items by