The Second World War, full set of six British first editions, finely bound
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 quarter red Morocco over marbled paper-covered boards. The spines feature raised bands and gilt author, title, and volume numbers. The British first edition, first printing contents are bound with red, laid paper end sheets, gilt top edges, deckled fore edges, and silk head and tail bands.
Condition of the set is very good. All six bindings are clean and tight. The leather spines show no fading and only a few trivial scuffs and blemishes. The marbled paper-covered boards retain sharp corners, showing a little shelf wear to extremities and a few minor scuffs. The contents are bright with no previous ownership marks. Spotting appears substantially confined to prelims and the deckled fore 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 #007445