The World Crisis
The World Crisis
The World Crisis
The World Crisis
The World Crisis
The World Crisis
The World Crisis
The World Crisis
The World Crisis

The World Crisis

New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1923. First edition, first printing. Hardcover. This is a full, first edition, first printing, jacketed set of Winston Churchill’s history of the First World War, in which he played such a critical, varied, and controversial role. The World Crisis was published in six volumes between 1923 and 1931, with this U.S. edition preceding its British counterpart. This set - with an unrecorded 1911-1914 first printing dust jacket, a correct first printing 1915 dust jacket, pristine 1916-1918 volumes in the publisher’s slipcase, and a jacketed publisher’s review copy of The Aftermath – is a singular opportunity for collectors. We know of only three surviving first issue dust jackets for the 1911-1914 volume. But no bibliographer has ever recorded, nor have we ever seen, this later issue first printing dust jacket.  While printed on the same paper and in the same style, it differs substantially.  The spine adds “1911-1914” below “The World Crisis”, clarifying that this is the first volume.  The front face also adds “1911-1914” above excerpts from six reviews.  The rear face contains reviews of the 1915 volume (published in October 1923), while the rear flap is a 1915 volume blurb. The front flap features the “$6.50” price and a striking image of Churchill over excerpts from the Saturday Review.   The jacket shows moderate wear and light soiling, with a 1.25 inch deep triangular loss at the lower rear hinge, a .5 inch loss to the upper right of the spine, and fractional chipping to other extremities. Scribner’s continued to bind and issue 1911-1914 first printing copies throughout 1924. This jacket confirms that the publisher also varied the dust jacket over the course of releasing the several first printing binding variants. The balance of this set’s dust jackets are also collector worthy, if not quite as dramatically so. The 1915 jacket is the first printing, differentiated from the second printing by subtle typescript differences. We note a shallow strip loss to the upper spine, minor chipping to the lower spine and extremities, a small loss to “The” on the upper front face, and modest overall soiling and mild spine toning, with a moisture stain on the lower spine.  The 1916-1918 jackets are magnificent, with only fractional wear to edges and some transfer browning from the publisher’s slipcase. The Aftermath jacket shows clean faces, chipping to the spine ends and corners, and a 2.5 inch closed tear to the upper rear hinge. The jacket spine shows moderate, uniform toning and faint moisture staining at the title.  The Unknown War dust jacket is neatly price-clipped – the only price-clipped jacket in the set – with minor loss at the spine heel and lower front face, but compensates with unusually bright spine presentation, only mildly toned. All six dust jackets are protected beneath removable, archival quality clear covers. The bindings of all six volumes are beautifully bright and clean. Five volumes are in near fine plus or better condition. The 1911-1914 and The Aftermath volumes merit specific discussion. The 1911-1914 volume is a strikingly bright variant binding with clean first printing contents and no spotting.  The front hinge is shaken and the endpapers split at the gutter, though the mull beneath remains intact.  A previous (presumably original) owner chose to illustrate the volume with vintage, contemporary postcards of Churchill as First Lord of the Admiralty, Admiral Jellicoe, Vice Admiral Beatty, General Haig, and Lord Kitchener tipped onto the endpapers, as well as an image of Asquith tipped onto p.29 and a contemporary newspaper article affixed to sheets tipped onto the rear endpapers. The Aftermath is the only publisher’s review copy we have encountered, evidenced by the original 5 x 2.35 inch publisher’s pre-publication review slip laid in at the front pastedown, printed dark brown on ivory stock with a hand-written price of “5.00” specified. Bibliographic reference: Cohen A69.1.(I).b, A69.1(II).b, A69.1(III-1&2).a, A69.1(IV).a, A69.1(V).a. Item #005103

Price: $12,500.00

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