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[PRESENTATION Leatherbound First English Edition Set SIGNED in Every Volume for Colonel Franke Clarke]


First English Edition Set

By: Winston S. Churchill

Thornton Butterworth [London]

Biblio: (Cohen A69.2[1.b II-V.a]) (Woods A31ab)

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

Hardcover [Blue leather]

Item Number: 204608

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 leatherbound First English edition set is signed and inscribed in ink on the front free endpaper of Volume I: “To Frank Clarke from Winston S. Churchill 1947.” The remaining five volumes are each signed in ink on their respective front free endpapers: “From Winston S. Churchill.”

COLONEL FRANK CLARKE famously hosted Winston and Clementine Churchill at his Miami Beach home in January and February 1946, prior to Churchill’s March appearance at Fulton College, Missouri to deliver what would come to be known as his “Iron Curtain” speech. These books were part of a signed leatherbound set of his works that Churchill sent to Clarke by way of thanks.The two men had known each other since the General Strike of 1926, when the Quebec-born Clarke, whose family owned paper mills in Canada, worked for Churchill on the staff of The British Gazette. The Churchills later stayed at Clarke’s lakeside cabin for two days of rest following the Quebec Conference. Clarke was a shipowner, whose vessels served in Allied operations throughout the war as hospital, supply and troop ships.

The bindings, by Sangorski & Sutcliffe, are three-quarter blue morocco leather over blue cloth, with gilded top edges, gilt titles on the spine with raised bands in six compartments, and marbled endpapers. The leather has faded unevenly and there is considerable wear to the cloth. The books have all been uniformly trimmed for binding. The contents are fine, with tanning to the endpaper edges and very light scattered foxing. The VOLUME I General Errata slip is present tipped onto page 1. VOLUME IV: THE AFTERMATH (Book 5), has the Errata slip on page 9.

A most significant association set that comes by direct descent from the Clarke family.