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-First English Edition Presentation Set to G.M. Trevelyan-


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: 208644

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 set, in unclipped dust jackets, belonged to the noted historian and Oxford academic G.M. Trevelyan. It contains pre-printed, holograph-styled presentation notes from Winston Churchill tipped onto the front free endpapers of the first three volumes and a typed signed presentation note dated “6 December, 1956” on 28 Hyde Park Gate notepaper to Trevelyan tipped onto the rear free endpaper of Volume II:

My dear Trevelyan,
Thank you so much for your letter of November 29 and your good wishes. I value most highly what you have been good enough to say about my Second Volume.
Yours sincerely,
Winston S. Churchill

Volume I pre-printed presentation note reads: “With all good wishes, Winston S. Churchill, April 23, 1956.”
Volumes II & III read: “With all good wishes, Winston S. Churchill.”

The recipient has inked his full name, “GM Trevelyan” above the tipped-in note in Volume III. The books and dust jackets are all in very good condition, with the topstains faded on Volumes I and IV. The contents are uniformly fine, with the barest hint of foxing to the fore-edges.

GEORGE MACAULAY TREVELYAN (1876-1962) exerted a powerful influence on Winston Churchill, who read his many lengthy works of history closely, including Trevelyan’s book about Blenheim, his biography of Churchill’s close friend, Sir Edward Grey, and his History of England. Trevelyan, in turn, enjoyed reading Churchill. “So long as you are with us, it cannot be said that the race of statesmen who are men of letters is extinct,” he wrote to Churchill in 1930. After the first volume of this series was published, Trevelyan wrote again: “The time would come when they will stop stop reading us professional historians but not you!” When Volume II appeared, Trevelyan wrote, “I liked it even better than the first,” prompting the note of thanks from Churchill in reply.

An important association.