Norwalk, Connecticut: Easton Press, 1991. Full leather. This is a fine, full, six-volume set of the striking Easton Press leather bound edition of the history of the First World War written by the man who led Britain a quarter of a century later as Prime Minister during the Second World War. Winston Churchill played a critical, controversial, and varied role in “The war to end all wars” a quarter of a century before he led Britain during the Second World War. His epic history of the conflict was originally published between 1923 and 1931.
This edition is among the most aesthetically pleasing and reader-friendly editions to date. Easton Press publications are regarded for their production values. Standard features include full leather binding with raised spine bands, extensive gilt lettering and decoration, all edges gilt, satin ribbon page markers, archival paper, sewn pages, and moire fabric endsheets. This set is bound in full crimson pigskin with black title and author spine labels. Richard Langworth, author of A Connoisseur's Guide to the Books of Sir Winston Churchill, helped design this edition. Consequently, the contents of this Easton Press edition present an ideal combination of features from the many editions of this critically acclaimed work; the text is from the first English edition, while the photos are from the second American edition. The full color reprints of the original folding maps "are, if anything, better than the originals." (Langworth, p.112)
Condition of this set approaches as new. The bindings are immaculate with no discernible wear. The contents are pristine, crisp and bright with no previous ownership marks. The gilt page edges are pristine. Each volume feels unread. The satin ribbon page markers appear to be in the same position originally placed by the publisher. The original Easton Press bookplates – not filled out and unaffixed – are laid in at each front pastedown.
Churchill was in a special position to write the history of the First World War, which nearly cost him both his political and corporeal lives. First Lord of the Admiralty from 1911 until 1915, after the Dardanelles disaster, Churchill was scapegoated and forced to resign. He spent political exile as a lieutenant colonel of a battalion in the trenches. Before 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 lingered. Hence Churchill had more than just literary and financial compulsion to write his history. The first four volumes span the war years, 1911-1918. The fifth volume deals with the postwar years 1918 to 1928. The sixth and final volume deals in greater detail with “the course of events in the Eastern theatre”. 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."
This large, six-volume set will be shipped at cost.
Reference: Cohen A69.19, Langworth p.111. Item #006558