The End of the Beginning Browse current inventory of this title

By Winston S. Churchill
First published in 1943 by Cassell and Company Ltd., London

"The Germans have received back again that measure of fire and steel
which they have so often meted out to others.  
Now this is not the end.  It is not even the beginning of the end.  
But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning."

(Speech at the Lord Mayor's Day Luncheon, 10 November 1942)


The Unrelenting Struggle is the third volume of Churchill's war speeches, containing speeches throughout 1942. This year is perhaps the low point of the war as much of the year was full of setbacks and disappointments across the globe for the British.  Churchill's speeches conveyed sober, resolved, and eloquent defiance - with of course an occasional sparkle of Churchillian wit, even in the darkest hours of the war.

The title of this volume comes from Churchill's 10 November 1942 speech at the Lord Mayor's Day Luncheon in London, at a time when fortune finally favored the British with victories in North Africa:  "Now... we have a new experience.  We have victory - a remarkable and definite victory.  The bright gleam has caught the helmets of our soldiers and warmed and cheered all our hearts."

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, painter, Nobel Prize winner. 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."

Between 1941 and 1946, Churchill's war speeches were published in seven individual volumes.  The seven British first editions of Churchill's wartime speech volumes were all issued by the same publisher and of uniform height and binding (with minor variations).  The accompanying dust jackets featured a consistent style for the first six volumes, which varied only in color scheme.  The first editions are visually striking, but were printed on cheap wartime paper, bound in coarse cloth with thin boards beneath, and the dust jackets were likewise printed on thin paper. Hence the first editions proved highly susceptible to spotting, soiling, fading, and wear, so the passage of time shows on most surviving copies.

Churchill's son, Randolph, had served as compiler for the preceding speech volumes Arms and the Covenant and Into Battle.  Beginning with the second of Churchill's war speech volumes, The Unrelenting Struggle, Randolph was engaged in war service and Charles Eade, Editor of the Sunday Dispatch, offered his services free of charge.  He performed this service for The End of the Beginning and the balance of Churchill's war speech volumes, as noted on title pages and dust jacket spines.

The first edition of The End of the Beginning is bound in coarse, blue cloth.  The dust jacket is colored a medium yellow on the upper half transitioning into deep red on the lower half, with print in white and black.  There were three printings of the British first edition issued between July 1943 and August 1946.  Collectors should note that the first printing dust jackets are unique, second and third printings distinguished by changes to flap content.  

The U.S. first edition is published by Little, Brown and Company, bound in red cloth stamped in gilt with black title panels on the spine and front cover.  The illustrated dust jacket is printed red, black, and white with a full length photo of Churchill in his trademark wartime 'Siren Suit' dominating the front panel.  The publisher issued seven printings of the U.S. first edition between August and December 1943.  

As with the British editions, there were eventually seven individual U.S. volumes of Churchill's war speeches published between 1941 and 1946.  However, unlike their British counterparts the U.S. editions vary considerably in publisher, size, and appearance.  The first volume, with a U.S. title of Blood, Sweat, and Tears, was published by G.P. Putnam's Sons, in a binding style matching Putnam's publications of Great Contemporaries (1937), While England Slept (1938), and Step By Step (1939) but with a distinctively unique dust jacket.  Volumes 2-6 were published by Little, Brown and Company.  Each of these five volumes was bound in red cloth with a black and red illustrated dust jacket, but the volumes differ considerably in height with volumes 4-6 smaller.  Wartime material rationing is cited as the reason for this shrinking on the Volume 5 dust jacket flap.  The final volume was published by Simon and Schuster in an entirely different size, binding, and dust jacket style.

A Canadian edition was issued from U.S. sheets, bound and jacketed as the U.S. edition with the Canadian publisher's name (McClelland and Stewart) substituted for that of the U.S. publisher.  All seven Canadian war speech volumes were published by McClelland and Stewart, with only the first and final volume dust jackets differing appreciably from their U.S. counterparts.

Rounding out the English language first editions of The End of the Beginning was an Australian first edition published by Cassell, Melbourne, in 1943.  While there were ultimately seven British, U.S., and Canadian first editions of Churchill's war speeches, there were only six Australian editions, there being no Australian edition of the first volume, Into Battle.  The bindings of the Australian edition war volumes vary considerably within and between each edition.  The dust jackets roughly echo the style of the British first editions, though with significant differences, particularly to the first (The Unrelenting Struggle) and final (Secret Session Speeches) volumes.

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