London: William Heinemann Ltd., 2000. First edition, only printing. Hardcover. This is the British first edition, only printing of the final (of three) War Papers volumes, the last volume of Winston Churchill’s Official Biography completed by Sir Martin Gilbert before his death. This copy is signed by the author. Gilbert inked his name "Martin Gilbert" directly below his printed name on the title page. Condition of this signed copy is conservatively graded as near fine plus in a near fine plus dust jacket. The dark red cloth binding is square, clean, and tight with sharp corners, free of the spine concavity sometimes caused by the significant weight of the text block and showing only trivial shelf wear to the bottom edges. The contents are immaculate - free of any soiling, spotting, or previous ownership marks apart from the author's signature. Even the page edges remain clean. The dust jacket is clean, bright, and complete. The original publisher's price on the lower front flap is intact. The jacket shows neither fading nor soiling. We note only a trivial hint of wrinkling at the spine head, but frankly many books come from the publisher thus. The jacket is now protected beneath a removable, clear, archival cover.
In 1962, at the age of 25, Martin Gilbert (1936-2015) joined Churchill's biography team, then led by Churchill's son, Randolph. Of what became his life's work, Gilbert said, "I'd thought I'd last four or five months." Instead, when Randolph died in 1968 with only two volumes completed, Gilbert took over, committing the substantial portion of his scholarship and life's work to documenting, comprehending, and communicating what Gilbert called the "remarkable and versatile life" of Winston Churchill. The Official Biography is comprised of eight mammoth main text volumes as well as accompanying document or "Companion" volumes. The eight main text volumes were originally published between 1966 and 1988. Publication of the Companion volumes was not completed until 2019, although the three War Papers document volumes were the last completed by Gilbert before his death. The three volumes of The War Papers were first published by Heinemann between 1993 and 2000. The third volume contains documents from 1941, which ended with the attack on Pearl Harbor, formal entry of the United States into the war, and Churchill addressing both a joint session of the U.S. Congress, and the Canadian Parliament. There were both British and U.S. editions. The British first editions are more scarce than their U.S. first edition counterparts, which are similar in appearance.
Reference: Zoller A302f3. Item #005957