The World Crisis: The Eastern Front. Winston S. Churchill.
The World Crisis: The Eastern Front
The World Crisis: The Eastern Front
The World Crisis: The Eastern Front
The World Crisis: The Eastern Front
The World Crisis: The Eastern Front

The World Crisis: The Eastern Front

London: Thornton Butterworth Limited, 1931. First edition, first printing. Hardcover. This is a first edition, first printing copy of the sixth and final book of Churchill's acclaimed history of the First World War and essential to filling a full set of British first editions. Scarcity owes to the fact that the first printing was 5150 copies, as opposed to 7500 for the British first edition of each of the preceding five books. Consequently these are not typically offered outside of sets. In proposing the book to his publisher, Churchill wrote: "In the previous volumes of The World Crisis I have described only in a few pages the course of events in the Eastern theatre. They have merely been the background of our main drama of the war. But now I think I might write a volume called 'The Eastern Front', which would be separate from but supplementary to our five volume history.” This first British edition, first printing, is an ex-library copy, sound and complete but with modest aesthetic flaws, in good plus overall condition. The blue cloth binding is square and tight with bright spine gilt and deep, unfaded navy blue color, though with wear to extremities, overall scuffing and staining, and inked library numbers “940.3” on the lower spine. The contents remain respectably bright and all illustrations and maps are present. The folding maps at p. 98, 142, 156, 250, 256, 308, 324, 338, 346, and 368 are all complete and properly folded. The large, color folding map at p.368 shows a tear only to the blank left margin. The contents are surprisingly clean, retaining a crisp feel. Spotting is quite light for the edition, primarily confined to the page edges. Internal ex-library marks are modest, confined to a “Norfolk County Council County Library” plate affixed to the front pastedown, with a small card pocket affixed below and a larger card pocket stamped “WITHDRAWN” and date stamped “03. FEB 93” on the facing front free endpaper recto. We find no other previous ownership or ex-library marks. Published in six volumes between 1923 and 1931, The World Crisis spans the 1911-1918 war years, with two supplemental volumes covering the postwar years 1918-1928 (The Aftermath) and the Eastern theatre (The Eastern Front). Of The World Crisis, Frederick Woods wrote: "The volumes contain some of Churchill's finest writing, weaving the many threads together with majestic ease, describing the massive battles in terms which fitly combine relish of the literary challenge with an awareness of the sombre tragedy of the events." Churchill was in a special position to write this history, having served both in the Cabinet and on the Front. Churchill served as First Lord of the Admiralty from 1911 until 1915, but after the failure in the Dardanelles, he was scapegoated and forced to resign. He spent his political exile as a lieutenant colonel leading a battalion in the trenches. Before the war's end, Churchill was exonerated and rejoined the Government, foreshadowing the political isolation and restoration he would experience nearly two decades later leading up to the Second World War. Despite Churchill's political recovery, the stigma of the Dardanelles would linger. Churchill may have meant for his history of the First World War to clear his name, but his six volume masterwork far exceeds this purpose. Bibliographic reference: Cohen A69.2(V).a, Woods/ICS A31(ab), Langworth p.105. Item #004982

Price: $300.00

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