-Signed First English Edition Set in Dust Jackets-


First English Edition Set (Volume I a Second Printing)

By: Winston S. Churchill

Cassell and Co. [London]

Biblio: (Cohen A142.1.c-A227) (Woods A66- A114)


Hardcover (with Dust Jackets) [Blue cloth]

Item Number: 208643

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Collector's Guide

The War Speeches of Winston Churchill were first preserved in seven individual speech compilation volumes, collected and published yearly in the U.K. and in the U.S., beginning in 1941, under the following titles: Into Battle (1938-1940 speeches; published in the U.S. as Blood, Sweat and Tears), The Unrelenting Struggle (1940-1941), The End of the Beginning (1942), Onwards to Victory (1943), The Dawn of Liberation (1944), Victory (1945), and Secret Session Speeches (Various Dates). Unlike the English editions, which were all published by one publisher (Cassell), the American series was initiated by G.P. Putnam with Blood, Sweat and Tears, then carried on by Little, Brown, up till the final volume, Secret Session Speeches, which was published by Simon and Schuster.


This complete set of First English editions is signed in ink on the second front free endpaper of the first volume, INTO BATTLE: “Inscribed by Winston S. Churchill 18 February 1941. For Mrs. Johnston. In these great days.”

The recipient would appear to be MARGARET JOHNSTON, the wife of Scottish Labour politician TOM JOHNSTON, founder and editor of the radical magazine Forward. In January 1941, Winston Churchill visited Edinburgh and Glasgow in the company of Johnston, who was then the country’s Regional Commissioner for Civil Defense. Churchill appointed Johnston Secretary of State for Scotland on February 12, 1941. INTO BATTLE was published on February 6. Once Churchill had copies in his possession, he apparently signed this volume, which is, in fact a Second Printing of the First Edition (reprinted in the month of publication), for Mrs. Johnston.

All volumes are in very good condition, in their correct, original, unclipped dust jackets, which are unusually fresh and bright.

INTO BATTLE dust jacket has a 2-inch-square loss at the spine head and a further square-inch of loss at the upper left corner of the front face. It is otherwise in spectacularly beautiful condition. The contents are fine as well, with very light scattered foxing to the fore-edge only.

THE UNRELENTING STRUGGLE dust jacket is slightly darkened with age and has a fractional loss near the upper right corner of the front face, else fine. The contents are fine, with very light scattered foxing to the fore-edge only.

All remaining volumes are virtually mint, with only hints of shelfwear.

Quite impressive.