While England Slept
Connecticut: Easton Press, Norwalk, 2005. Full leather. This is the leatherbound Easton Press edition of the last book of speeches published by Winston S. Churchill before the Second World War. Condition is truly fine. The binding is pristine, with no wear, blemishes, or flaws. The contents are pristine with a crisp, unread feel. The ribbon marker appears to be in the same position in which it was originally placed when the book was shipped by the publisher.
Originally published in 1938, While England Slept is the precursor to Churchill's great war speeches and has been called "…the permanent record of one man’s unceasing struggle in the face of resentment, apathy, and complacency”. The speeches were compiled by Churchill's son, Randolph, who contributed a preface and is credited with compilation. Randolph would do the same for his father's first volume of war speeches, Into Battle, published in an almost unrecognizable world less than three years later.
At the time, on the eve of the Second World War, the British edition was given the politically palatable title Arms and the Covenant. The U.S. title is a bit more candid. The book contains a collection of speeches spanning the years 1928 to 1938 criticizing British foreign policy and warning prophetically of the coming danger.
The world remembers the resolute war leader to whom the British entrusted their fate, but it is easy to forget the years leading up to the war, which Churchill spent persistent, eloquent, and largely unheeded, frequently at odds with both his own government and prevailing public sentiment. Churchill bibliographer Frederick Woods called this edition "probably the most crucial volume of speeches that he ever published". As testimony to the book's importance, a copy of While England Slept lay on "President Roosevelt's bedside table, with key passages, including an analysis of the president's peace initiative, underscored." (William Manchester, The Last Lion, Volume II, p.305)
Easton Press published this finely bound edition in 2005. Easton Press publications are sought for their high production values. Standard to all volumes are full leather binding, gilt lettering and decoration, all edges gilt, satin ribbon page markers, acid neutral paper, sewn pages, and endsheets of moire fabric. Item #007492