London: Cassell and Company Ltd., 1948. First edition, only printing. Hardcover. Here is a jacketed set of all five of Churchill's post-WWII speech volumes, increasingly challenging to assemble thus. These volumes span the period from Demobilization in late 1945, when Churchill was Leader of the Opposition, through his second Premiership (1951-1955) into a time when Churchill passes "into a living national memorial" of the time he has lived and the Nation, Empire, and free world he has served.
The events encompassed by these years are in many ways no less dramatic than those of the war years - the unraveling of the British Empire, the post-war recovery, the onset of the Cold War, Soviet acquisition of the atomic bomb, development of the hydrogen bomb, and the beginning of the space age (to name a few).
These postwar speech volumes are scarcer than Churchill’s War Speeches volumes; all five of these books had only a single printing each. Moreover, not all of the fourth volume’s sheets were issued in a binding cloth and dust jacket matching the rest of the volumes; the later issue dust jacket is solid black with no matching oak leaf border at the top and bottom edges. Also of note, the fifth and final volume, The Unwritten Alliance, is the last of Churchill's books published in his lifetime and was issued only in Britain, with no U.S. edition.
All five volumes in this set are in very good plus or better condition in very good or better dust jackets. All five cloth bindings are clean, tight, and square with sharp corners, and virtually no wear. We note only a touch of sunning to the bottom edge of The Sinews of Peace and the spine head of Stemming the Tide. The contents of all five volumes are uniformly bright and unusually clean. Trivial spotting appears confined to the front pastedown and facing front free endpaper recto of Europe Unite. We find no other spotting; even the page edges are notably clean. The sole previous ownership mark is “Easter 1950” inked on the Europe Unite front free endpaper.
The dust jackets are all unclipped, retaining the original front flap prices. All five dust jackets remain bright and present well on the shelf. Stemming the Tide has the more desirable and elusive first state dust jacket. We note light wear to extremities, fractional chipping to the In the Balance and Stemming the Tide spine heads with a closed tear at the upper rear hinge of Stemming the Tide. Dust jackets for The Unwritten Alliance were notoriously poorly printed, and consequently are almost always rubbed or streaked, with orange showing through the black background. This Unwritten Alliance is an unusually bright example and complete with no loss, though with a faint vertical crease to the spine and some wear at the spine head. All five dust jackets are newly fitted with removable, archival quality clear covers.
Reference: Cohen A241.1, A246.1, A255.1, A264.1, A273; Woods/ICS A124(a), A128(a), A130(a), A137(a), A142; Langworth pages 184, 296, 301, 309, 338. Item #004416