-First English Edition Set-


First English Edition Set

By: Winston S. Churchill

Thornton Butterworth Ltd. [London]

Biblio: (Cohen A69.2) (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: 208506


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 is a very good First English edition set, without dust jackets. The cloth of all volumes remains a deep, rich blue. The gilt titles have very modestly dimmed. The bindings are all square and tight and the contents are fine.

-VOLUME I (Book 1) has endpapers that have been replaced, with very light, scattered foxing to the prelims, else fine. The book is the rare Third State of the First Printing (per Cohen) with the Errata slip tipped-in at Page 1 and the missing quotation mark on Page 472.
-VOLUME III Part 1 (Book 3) has a former-owner’s name in ink on the free front endpaper, which is quite toned. The rear board is slightly bowed and bubbled. Else fine.
-VOLUME III Part 2 (Book 4) page edges and prelims are lightly foxed, else fine. The book has a former-owner’s name, “Gerard Smith,” hand-dated “1927” in ink on the front free endpaper. Laid-in is an autograph letter to Smith from H. [Henry] Newton, thanking him for the loan of these two books (3 & 4), with some pointed asides about “Winston.” (As a Lieutenant-Colonel, Newton later wrote some very prescient letters to Churchill in 1940 about responding to German Blitzkrieg methods.) Tipped-in at the rear is an envelope containing news cuttings relating to the “Death of Marshall Foch, 20.Mch.1929.”
-VOLUME IV (Book 5) is speckled and bubbled on the rear board. The contents are fine, save for a bit of adhesive residue on the rear pastedown. The book is the Second State of the First Printing (per Cohen) with the Errata slip tipped-in at Page 9.
-VOLUME V (Books 6) is a bit scuffed on the front and rear boards. The contents are fine, with foxing to the fore-edges and prelims. The rear pastedown has faint remains from the removal of a bookplate and a bit of red ink on the free endpaper, else fine.

A very interesting set overall.