We are always on the hunt for Winston Churchill books, signatures, and letters. These materials are becoming more and more desirable, and our customers just can’t get enough! This week, we just acquired two new sets of Winston Churchill works, complete with signatures inside! Read through our newest arrivals in this week’s blog.
Few books are as representative of Churchill’s literary and leadership aptitude as his speeches. Churchill's preeminence as a historical figure is a result of his indispensable leadership during the Second World War and into the beginning of the Cold War, when his oratory sustained his countrymen and inspired the free world to fight for democracy.
Churchill once said, “Of all the talents bestowed upon men, none is so precious as the gift of oratory. He who enjoys it wields a power more durable than that of a great king. He is an independent force in the world.” The collected speeches in this seven volume set follow Churchill from the first months of his wartime premiership through to his 1945 post-War review.
Into Battle (published 1941) contains speeches spanning May 1938 to November 1940, from the height of appeasement and Churchill’s political isolation to the first six months of his wartime premiership. Unrelenting Struggle (published 1942) captures Churchill's speeches, broadcasts, and messages to Parliament from November 1940 to the end of 1941, terminating with Churchill’s famous speeches to the U.S. Congress and the Canadian Parliament. End of the Beginning (published 1943) includes Churchill’s speeches from 1942, during a low point of the War, full of setbacks and disappointments for the British. The title of this volume comes from Churchill's November 10, 1942 speech at the Lord Mayor's Day Luncheon in London, at a time when the British finally experienced victories in North Africa:
"The Germans have received back again that measure of fire and steel which they have so often meted out to others. Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning."
Onwards to Victory (published 1944) contains Churchill's speeches from 1943. In this volume, his oratory takes a steadfast and determined tone as Churchill and the Allies begin to anticipate victory. On May 19, 1943, Churchill gave his second address to the U.S. Congress. Seventeen long months of war had passed since his first speech delivered after Pearl Harbor. For his American audience, Churchill invoked the disquieting memory of the prolonged U.S. Civil War,
"No one after Gettysburg doubted which way the dread balance of war would incline. Yet far more blood was shed after the Union victory at Gettysburg than in all the fighting which went before.”
That theme of maintaining the momentum of small victories repeated throughout the year. In November of 1943 Churchill told the audience at the Lord Mayor’s Day Luncheon
"We must not lose for a moment the sense and consciousness of urgency and crisis which must continue to drive us, even though we are in the fifth year of war… victory will certainly be won... But that does not mean that our war task is done.”
The Dawn of Liberation (published 1945) is a collection of Churchill’s speeches made during 1944, the year that included the D-Day Normandy landings and decisive turns in favor of the British and their Allies. Victory (published 1946) contains speeches from January to August 1945. Having done so much to win the war, Churchill faced frustration in his postwar plans when his wartime government fell to the Labour Party in the General Election of July 1945. His final speech in this volume, a review of the war delivered on August 16, 1945 to the House of Commons, was delivered as the Leader of the Opposition rather than as Prime Minister.
Secret Session Speeches (published 1946) is a slim volume with five speeches Churchill made to the House of Commons sitting in Secret Session, the earliest dating to June 20 1940 and ending with a speech on December 10, 1942. Unlike the contents of the other volumes, the words within this volume were not written for public consumption. In fact, there was no public record of the speeches at all.
These incredible books come complete with a tipped-in signature from Winston S. Churchill on the half title page of Into Battle. His signature is in black ink, underlined at the end, and is very legible and clean. The slip of paper with his signature is adhered to white letterhead of "62, Onslow Gardens, S.W.7. Kensington 4685" at top, with typed "With Mr Churchill's Compliments." below. 62 Onslow Gardens was a Kensington residence Churchill leased from a friend in the Winter of 1929 and probably Winter 1930.
Perhaps his most famous work of writing is Churchill’s The Second World War. We have just acquired a first edition set of The Second World War from 1948-1954. This is Winston S. Churchill’s complete six-volume classic history of the Second World War and includes: “The Gathering Storm,” “Their Finest Hour,” “The Grand Alliance,” “The Hinge of Fate,” “Closing the Ring,” and “Triumph and Tragedy.”
The Second World War is a definitive history of the period from the end of World War I to July 1945. Churchill was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1953, and his book was largely responsible for the award. Churchill wrote the book, with a team of assistants, using both his own notes and privileged access to official documents, all while still working as a politician. The text was vetted by the Cabinet Secretary. Churchill was largely fair in his treatment, but wrote the history from his personal point of view.
As Max Beloff observed, there was no statesman of the twentieth century "whose retrospective accounts of the great events in which he has taken part have so dominated subsequent historical thinking". A man who had always primarily made his living by his pen, Churchill was the only major war leader to give an authoritative account of the conflict, and his ringing phrases seeped into the collective memory.
These books include a tipped-in inscribed and signed thank-you note by Winston Churchill. The note consists of 4 lines, “I am so much obliged to you for your very kind token of goodwill on my birthday.” Signed at bottom of note “Winston S. Churchill” on printed letterhead "10 Downing Street, Whitehall". There are also three additional typed thank-you notes included, addressed to Mrs. Gertrude Lennox on behalf of Churchill (dated February 20, 1950, December 10, 1951, and November 28, 1953), signed by his secretaries Mary Shield, Jane Portal, and R.S. McHale. Two typed notes are on Prime Minister 10 Downing Street Whitehall letterhead, one typed on House of Commons letterhead.
The first typed letter, dated February 20, 1950, addresses Miss. Gerturde Lennox at “Bridge-of-Weir Camp, Renfrewshire.” Records indicate that a World War II civilian transit camp was located in Bridge of Weir, just north of Bridge of Weir railway station, and south of the River Gryfe. The purpose of the Bridge of Weir camp, together with another established at Neilston, Scotland was to accommodate some 6,000 civilian refugees, displaced and evacuated from Gibraltar at the start of World War II. The refugees had been moved from London in 1944, after the V1 flying bomb attacks began. Aerial photography from 1947 shows at least 50 huts with pitched roofs, arranged in streets around a large T-shaped building, which may have been a meeting or mess hall. It is possible Gertrude Lennox worked at the Bridge-of-Weir camp, even after the end of the War.
These books are for the ultimate fan of Churchill, complete with incredible records and writing, as well as his original signatures. These works have been fully preserved by master bookbinders at Felton Bookbinding Ltd., complete with archival slipcases. The books coupled with the original notes and signatures make these a collector’s dream.