This Item Has Been Sold
THE SECOND WORLD WAR
-The Rare “Presentation” First English Edition-
Cassell and Co. [London]
Biblio: (Cohen A240.4[I-VI].a) (Woods A123ba)
8vo (Gilt spine titles, decorated endpapers, top edges gilt. Maps, diagrams and tables throughout.)
Hardcover [Black leather]
Item Number: 206409
The Second World War, also known as Winston Churchill’s War Memoirs, won Churchill the Nobel Prize for literature in 1953. Published in six volumes that appeared over six years, the books each came out first in the U.S. under the following titles: THE GATHERING STORM (Volume I/1948), THEIR FINEST HOUR (Volume II/1949), THE GRAND ALLIANCE (Volume III/1950), THE HINGE OF FATE (Volume IV/1950), CLOSING THE RING (Volume V/1951) and TRIUMPH AND TRAGEDY (Volume VI/1953).
The ensuing English editions, issued within months of the American, contained numerous corrections and even a few additional maps. The English edition is therefore considered more definitive, though today the American edition may be rarer. The set was simultaneously published by the Book-of-the-Month-Club in America, printed on the same presses as the first editions, and thus can easily be confused with them. An excellent one-volume abridgment was published in 1959; largely the work of Churchill’s research assistant, Denis Kelly, though Churchill did contribute an interesting epilogue covering the years 1945-1957.
One-hundred sets of the First English edition were reserved by the publisher, Cassell & Co, for presentation. Bound by Sangorski & Sutcliffe in full-black pebble-grained morocco, the books are starkly luxurious. This is one set in extraordinarily fine condition; virtually mint, inside and out.
A very precious prize in the Churchill canon. Rarely seen.