London: Cassell and Company Ltd., 1941-1946. First edition, first printings. Hardcover. Here is a full, finely bound, seven volume set of British first edition, first printings of Churchill's seven war speeches volumes. Few books are as emblematic of Churchill’s literary and leadership gifts as his war speeches volumes. The bindings are full deep navy morocco with hubbed spines, the spine bands framed in gilt, each unprinted compartment featuring a gilt lion rampant, and the boards framed with gilt rule borders. The contents of each volume are bound with handsome marbled endpapers, silk head and tail bands, and gilt top edge.
Condition of the bindings is excellent, square and tight with no discernible wear, fading, or soiling. The first edition, first printing contents are free of ownership marks. Spotting, endemic to the “war economy standard” paper, is relatively light, substantially confined to the fore and bottom edges. The contents of Into Battle are not only first printing, but first state (denoted by pagination missing at pages 78 & 294) and Victory is likewise first state, with page 177 mispaginated.
During his long public life, Winston Churchill played many roles worthy of note - Member of Parliament for more than half a century, soldier and war correspondent, author of scores of books, ardent social reformer, combative cold warrior, Nobel Prize winner, painter. But Churchill's preeminence as a historical figure owes most to his indispensable leadership during the Second World War, when his soaring and defiant oratory sustained his countrymen and inspired the free world. Of Churchill, Edward R. Murrow said: "He mobilized the English language and sent it into battle." When Churchill was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1953, it was partly “…for brilliant oratory in defending exalted human values.”
Between 1941 and 1946, Churchill's war speeches were published in seven individual volumes. The British first editions are visually striking, but were printed on cheap “War Economy Standard” paper, bound in coarse cloth, and wrapped in bright, fragile dust jackets. They proved highly susceptible to spotting, soiling, and fading, so the passage of time has been hard on most surviving first editions. This finely bound full first edition, first printing set offers an aesthetically pleasing alternative.
Reference: Cohen A142.1.a, A172.1.b, A183.1.a, A194.1.a, A214.1.a, A223.1.a, A227.2.a; Woods/ICS A66(a.1), A89(a.1), A94(a.1), A101(a.1), A107(a.1), A112(aa), A114(b); Langworth pages 204, 213, 218, 223, 228, 234, 250. Item #006004