Item #007317 Marlborough: His Life and Times, full set of four British first edition, first printings in dust jackets, each volume housed in a full crimson morocco Solander case. Winston S. Churchill.
Marlborough: His Life and Times, full set of four British first edition, first printings in dust jackets, each volume housed in a full crimson morocco Solander case
Marlborough: His Life and Times, full set of four British first edition, first printings in dust jackets, each volume housed in a full crimson morocco Solander case
Marlborough: His Life and Times, full set of four British first edition, first printings in dust jackets, each volume housed in a full crimson morocco Solander case
Marlborough: His Life and Times, full set of four British first edition, first printings in dust jackets, each volume housed in a full crimson morocco Solander case
Marlborough: His Life and Times, full set of four British first edition, first printings in dust jackets, each volume housed in a full crimson morocco Solander case
Marlborough: His Life and Times, full set of four British first edition, first printings in dust jackets, each volume housed in a full crimson morocco Solander case
Marlborough: His Life and Times, full set of four British first edition, first printings in dust jackets, each volume housed in a full crimson morocco Solander case
Marlborough: His Life and Times, full set of four British first edition, first printings in dust jackets, each volume housed in a full crimson morocco Solander case
Marlborough: His Life and Times, full set of four British first edition, first printings in dust jackets, each volume housed in a full crimson morocco Solander case

Marlborough: His Life and Times, full set of four British first edition, first printings in dust jackets, each volume housed in a full crimson morocco Solander case

London: George G. Harrap & Co. Ltd., 1933. First edition, first printing. Hardcover. This is a full set of four British first edition, first printings in dust jackets, each volume housed in its own full red Morocco Solander case. Such sets are scarce thus, featuring near fine first printing volumes in very good plus or better first printing dust jackets. The bindings are strikingly bright, clean, and tight with only minimal shelf wear confined to extremities. The contents are crisp and clean. Trivial spotting appears confined to the Vol. I, II & IV page edges and the Vol. IV front free endpaper and half title. Various levels of mild age-toning are apparent only to the fore and bottom edges of a few volumes. The sole previous ownership mark we find is a contemporary “To Michael from Mother: Christmas. 1942.” on the Vol. IV front free endpaper recto.

The dust jackets are noteworthy survivors. All four are complete, with no loss and Intact prices on each lower front flap, unequivocally confirming first printing. Endemic spine toning is minimal across the set, all four jackets showing only mild color shift between the faces and spines. Wear is light, generally confined to extremities, and soiling is likewise light. The rear face of the Volume I jacket shows a few creases, but more than compensates with its unusually well-preserved light gray hue. All four dust jackets are protected beneath removable, clear, archival covers.

Each volume is housed in its own full red Morocco goatskin Solander case featuring rounded and hubbed spine with gilt decorated and gilt-rule framed raised spine bands, gilt spine print, gilt-ruled borders on the covers framing the Churchill arms in gilt, and red satin-lined interior.

The British first trade edition of Winston Churchill’s monumental biography of his great ancestor, John Churchill, the first Duke of Marlborough, is physically impressive. The books measure 9.25 x 6.25 inches (23.5 x 15.9 cm) and are roughly 2 inches (5.1 cm) thick. Each is bound in plum cloth with beveled edges and the Churchill coat of arms in gilt on the front cover. The contents are profusely illustrated, bound with headbands and gilt top edge. Unfortunately, the plum cloth binding of Volumes I-III proved highly susceptible to sun fading. (A different, more fade-resistant dye was used in Volume IV.) Without dust jackets, Volumes I-III are nearly always faded and jacketed first editions are scarce. Particularly scarce are first printing jackets for Volumes I & II. Collectors should be wary of price-clipped dust jackets; later impression Volume I & II dust jackets state either "2nd Impression" or "3rd Impression" on the lower front flap beside the price. (No such problem applies to Volumes III & IV, which each had only a single printing.) Additionally, all four dust jackets proved highly susceptible to soiling and toning.

Winston Churchill's biography of his great ancestor, the first Duke of Marlborough was initially conceived a full 40 years before publication of the final volume. Marlborough ultimately took 10 years of research and writing and is the most substantial published work of Churchill's 1930s "wilderness years". It may not be incidental that Churchill’s great work of the 1930s was about a great ancestor; Churchill may have wondered more than once if the life history he was writing would eclipse his own. But that’s not what happened. The final volume was published almost exactly one year before the outbreak of the Second World War and just twenty months before Churchill became wartime prime minister.

It has been said that "To understand the Churchill of the Second World War, the majestic blending of his commanding English with historical precedent, one has to read Marlborough." .” When Churchill was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1953, it was partly for “mastery of historical and biographical description” on the strength of Marlborough, which was specifically cited and quoted by the Swedish Academy.

Reference: Cohen A97.2(I-IV).a, Woods/ICS A40(aa), Langworth p.166. Item #007317

Price: $5,500.00

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