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-Signed First English Edition Presentation Set Inscribed to Churchill’s Private Secretary-


First English Edition Set

By: Winston S. Churchill

Cassell and Co. [London]

Biblio: (Cohen A267.1[I-IV].a) (Woods A138a)

8vo (440 pages, 350 pages, 352 pages & 346 pages. Illustrated with maps and tables.)

Hardcover (with Dust Jackets) [Red cloth]

Item Number: 207454

Collector's Guide

A History of the English-Speaking Peoples was Winston Churchill’s last great work; a sweeping, four-volume history of England, her colonies, and the language that Churchill so venerated and ennobled in his own writings. Published nearly twenty years after Churchill composed his first draft in the late-1930s, the books were released after the war simultaneously in Britain, the U.S., and Canada over a period of three years. The original English edition was handsomely printed, the American and Canadian editions less so. Subsequent re-issues and abridgments abound.


This First English edition Presentation set, in dust jackets, is signed and inscribed on the title page of Volume One for Churchill’s personal secretary: “To Gillian Maturin from Winston S. Churchill.”

GILLIAN MATURIN (1931-1985) was one of Churchill’s postwar secretaries, a New Zealander who commenced working for him just after his retirement as Prime MInister in 1955 and stayed on for three and a half years. She was notably assigned the additional task of looking after Churchill’s Australian Budgerigar parakeet, Toby, when Churchill holidayed in the South of France.

The books are all in very good condition with foxing to the fore-edges and prelims of all, including to the signature page of Volume I. The dust jackets are unclipped and uniformly bright, with edge-chipping and fractional losses at the head and tail of Volume I. Volume II dust jacket has darkened just a bit, as per usual with this book. The topstains have faded variably. The contents of all volumes are otherwise fine and unfoxed.

It is most uncommon to come upon signed volumes gifted by Churchill to his secretarial staff. This comes by direct descent from the family of Gillian Maturin.