London: Cassell and Company, Ltd., 1945. First edition, first printing. Hardcover. This is the British first edition, first printing, of the fifth volume of Churchill's war speeches. 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 first edition, first printing is very good minus in a good plus first printing dust jacket. The blue cloth binding is square, tight, and clean with sharp corners, bright spine gilt and only modest wear to extremities. The contents are internally bright. The chief defect that leads us to grade this copy as only “very good minus” is prominent spotting to the page edges. Spotting is light internally, primarily confined to the first and final few leaves. The sole previous ownership mark is a gift inscription on the front free endpaper recto dated “Aug 15th; 28 1945” in thanks “for a very enjoyable holiday”. Publication was only a few weeks prior, on 26 July 1945. The dust jacket is unclipped, retaining the publisher’s original price on the lower front flap, and substantially complete, with only minor chip losses to the upper spine. The jacket remains bright with unfaded purple and yellow hues, despite wear to extremities, hinges, and flap folds, as well as mild soiling to the white rear face and some spotting to the rear flap fold. The dust jacket is protected beneath a removable, clear, archival cover.
This volume publishes Churchill's speeches, broadcasts, messages, statements, and letters made, sent, and issued between 22 February and 31 December 1944. A full and momentous year, 1944 included the Normandy invasion, the largest amphibious operation in history, which re-established the Allied military presence in German-occupied Europe. While much fighting was yet to come and the war was not yet over, as 1944 drew to a close the suspended tensions of domestic politics as well as the complex jockeying for postwar spoils among allies intruded ever more urgently on a unified war effort. Churchill would be unable to hold the many political fractures and frustrations at bay for much longer. Indeed, the very day this British first edition of The Dawn of Liberation was published (26 July 1945) Churchill formally conceded the fall of his wartime government to Labor in the General Election of July 1945.
Few books are as emblematic of Churchill’s literary and leadership gifts as his war speeches volumes. 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.”
Reference: A214.1.a, Woods/ICS A107(a.1), Langworth p.228. Item #006145