The War Speeches of the Rt. Hon. Winston S. Churchill, the three-volume definitive edition of Churchill's war speeches
London: Cassell and Company Ltd., 1952. First edition, first printing. Hardcover. This is the first edition, first printing the three-volume "definitive" edition of Churchill's war speeches, published during Churchill's second and final premiership. After Churchill returned to 10 Downing Street in October 1951, the publisher reissued the seven War Speeches volumes as a new, three-volume edition. This edition is, in many ways, superior to the original seven wartime editions in both aesthetics and content. Gone is the cheap economy paper of the wartime editions. The binding is a heavy navy cloth with attractive, uniform dust jackets. The books each measure a substantial 10 x 6.25 inches. New speeches are added, as is a helpful index. Some of the original speeches considered peripheral are eliminated while others are retitled and chronological dates are replaced with brief transitional or introductory notes.
This set features very good volumes in good plus dust jackets. The blue cloth bindings are square and tight with bright spine gilt and only minor shelf wear to extremities, including bumps to the Volume II corners and volume III upper rear joint. The contents are clean, with no previous owner names and spotting confined to the top edges, a few scattered fore edge spots, and the Volume I front endpapers. The dust jackets are unclipped, each retaining the original lower front flap price. The Volume I and II jackets suffer only fractional loss to extremities. The Volume II jacket has a 1.125 wide by .25 inch (2.9 x .64 cm) deep loss at the spine head and two 1.5 inch (3.8 cm) closed tears at the spine heel with attendant wrinkling and fractional loss. All three jackets are toned with light overall soiling and spotting and evenly toned spines. All three jackets are protected beneath clear, removable, archival covers.
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. Charles Eade played a critical role in their original publication, as well as in the publication of this edition issued during Churchill's second premiership. Charles Eade (1903-1964) was a noted figure in British journalism. In 1938 he became editor of the Sunday Dispatch, a post he held until 1957. Eade was also an early radio sports commentator, and during the Second World War served as public relations advisor to Louis Mountbatten. In 1942 Eade stepped in as compiler of Churchill's wartime speech volumes, replacing Churchill's son, Randolph, who had been called to wartime service. Notably, he offered his services free of charge, stating, "my reward for the task would be the pleasure of doing it" (7 May 1941 letter from Charles Eade to Kathleen Hill). Eade ultimately edited six of the seven wartime volumes - all except the first, Into Battle. For this "definitive" edition of Churchill's war speeches, Eade returned to the role.
Reference: Cohen A263.1(I-III).a, Woods/ICS A136(a.1), Langworth p.303. Item #007269