London: Cassell and Company, Ltd., 1948. First edition, first printing. Full leather. This is a finely bound, full six-volume set of British first editions of The Second World War, Winston Churchill's history of the epic 20th century struggle that was so indelibly stamped by his leadership.
The bindings are three-quarter red Morocco over red buckram sides. The bindings feature raised spine bands, title, author, volume number and publication date on each spine, a lion rampant in each unprinted spine compartment. The covers feature dual blind rule transitions, gilt top edges, and red and green silk head and tail bands. The bindings are immaculate, with no reportable wear, toning, or soiling. The first printing contents are well-suited to the bindings, clean and bright. The sole previous ownership mark is an inked initial and surname on the upper Vol. I half title. Light spotting is primarily confined to the otherwise clean fore and bottom edges.
Seldom, if ever, has history endowed a statesman with both singular ability to make history, and singular ability to write it. As with so much of what Churchill wrote, The Second World War is not "history" in the strictly academic, objectivist sense, but rather Churchill's perspective on history. In his March 1948 introduction to the first volume, Churchill himself made the disclaimer, "I do not describe it as history... it is a contribution to history..." Nonetheless the compelling fact remains, as stated by Churchill himself, "I am perhaps the only man who has passed through both the two supreme cataclysms of recorded history in high Cabinet office... I was for more than five years in this second struggle with Germany the Head of His Majesty's government. I write, therefore, from a different standpoint and with more authority than was possible in my earlier books."
Certainly The Second World War may be regarded as an intensely personal and inherently biased history. Nonetheless, Churchill's work remains essential, iconic, and a vital part of the historical record. Richard Langworth calls the six-volume epic "indispensable reading for anyone who seeks a true understanding of the war that made us what we are today."
Given the fragility of the first editions - which were not only printed on post-war "Economy Standards" paper, but also bound in coarse, black cloth bindings that easily wear and mildew - this fine binding is a durable and aesthetically appealing alternative.
Please note that we will ship this substantial, six-volume set at cost.
Reference: Cohen A240.4(I-VI).a, Woods/ICS A123(ba), Langworth p.264. Item #007203