London: Thornton Butterworth, Ltd., 1932. First abridged and revised edition, second printing. Hardcover. This is a jacketed British first edition, second printing of the first Abridged & Revised edition of Churchill's monumental history of the First World War. There were three printings of this British first Abridged & Revised edition – in 1931, 1932, and 1937. All three printings featured the same dust jacket design, but second and third printings are typically encountered on heavier, lined, tan paper with just a hint of pale green color while first printing jackets appear to have been printed on a notably brighter, thinner, vivid green paper. Both jackets are elusive, both prone to toning, as are the spines of the green cloth bindings beneath. Jacketed second printing copies are quite elusive, quite possibly because second printing dust jackets end up being supplied to unjacketed first printing volumes.
This jacketed second printing of the first Abridged & Revised edition is flawed, but nonetheless a scarce survivor, in good condition in a good dust jacket. The green cloth binding retains bright, unfaded green spine color and equally bright gilt, despite moderate overall wear and scuffing to the binding. The contents remain clean apart from minor spotting substantially confined to the endpapers and page edges. We find no previous owner names or bookplates. The endpapers show differential toning consistent with the dust jacket flaps, further testifying that this copy has spent life jacketed. The binding is quite tender owing to a gutter split at p.830 of the Index with the mull still holding, but fragile. The dust jacket is substantially complete, but worn and soiled. The original pale green tint is evident only on the dust jacket flaps, with toning and soiling to the rest of the jacket, the toning most pronounced to the spine. We note small loss at the spine ends and corners to a maximum depth of .5 inch (1.3 cm) at the upper rear hinge. There is a 1.5 inch (3.8 cm) closed tear to the lower rear flap fold, a 2.5 inch (6.4 cm) horizontal closed tear across the spine below the author’s name, and faint moisture staining at the flap folds. The dust jacket is protected beneath a clear, removable, archival cover.
A quarter of a century before the Second World War endowed him with lasting fame, Winston Churchill played a uniquely critical, controversial, and varied role in the “War to end all wars”. Churchill's history - which he titled The World Crisis - was originally published in six volumes between 1923 and 1931. This important edition covering the war years 1911-1918 is not just an abridgement. It incorporates revisions by Churchill with new material, including a whole new chapter on the Battle of the Marne, as well as a new introduction.
Churchill was in a special position to write this history, having served both in the Cabinet and on the Front. Churchill served as First Lord of the Admiralty from 1911 until 1915, but after the failure in the Dardanelles, he was scapegoated and forced to resign. He spent his political exile as a lieutenant colonel leading a battalion in the trenches. Before the war's end, Churchill was exonerated and rejoined the Government, foreshadowing the political isolation and restoration he would experience nearly two decades later leading up to the Second World War.
Reference: Cohen A69.6.b, Woods/ICS A31(bb.2), Langworth p.113. Item #007606