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-Signed First English Edition Set-


First English Edition Set

By: Winston S. Churchill

Thornton Butterworth Ltd. [London]

Biblio: (Cohen A69.2[I.b, II-IV.a, V.b,VI.a]) (Woods A31ab)

8vo (5 volumes in 6 books. 2500+ pages, illustrated with folding maps and plans.)

Hardcover (without Dust Jackets) [Dark blue cloth]

Item Number: 210065

Collector's Guide

The World Crisis is Churchill’s highly subjective history of the First World War. Comprising five volumes (in six books) written over eight years, the initial titles were first published in the U.S. (by a matter of days), making the American edition the true first edition. Volume I (1911-1914) and Volume II (1915) were published in 1923. Volume III (1916-1918 ) was published in two parts in 1927 (hence the five/in six volumes ultimate format). Volume IV (The Aftermath 1918-1928) was published in 1929; and Volume V (The Unknown War/The Eastern Front) in 1931. A one-volume abridgment by the author was soon issued. Most subsequent re-issues have been incomplete, abridged, or otherwise condensed versions of the original text.


This handsome First English edition set, without dust jackets, is signed and inscribed on the front free endpaper of (Book 5) THE AFTERMATH: “Richard Hopkins from Winston S. Churchill 6.3.29.”

The association is fascinating, and runs deep. Churchill and Hopkins first met and worked together in 1913, when Hopkins was a young Treasury civil servant and Churchill was First Lord of the Admiralty. Hopkins rose to run the Inland Revenue as Chairman in 1922, then transferred to the Treasury in 1927, guiding Churchill throughout his stint as Chancellor of the Exchequer. Hopkins became Permanent Secretary to the Treasury under Churchill during the Second World War, and was credited with bringing John Maynard Keynes back into Churchill’s Treasury as a key advisor.

The books are generally in lovely condition, with nominal rubs and bumps to the cloth and boards, the usual toning to the endpapers, particularly Volumes III and IV, and some scattered light foxing to the fore-edges of Volume II. VOLUME I (Book 1) is the Second State of the First Edition, per Cohen, with the Errata slip tipped-in opposite Page 1. There is a tiny bookseller plate affixed to the front pastedown.

VOLUME II (Book 2) bears the ornamental bookplate of British politician and author Woodrow Wyatt (1918-1997) on the front pastedown.

VOLUME IV: THE AFTERMATH (Book 5) has the Errata slip tipped-in opposite Page 9.

Overall, a first-class set with a significant provenance, here preserved in a velvet-lined blue cloth cardboard slipcase.