Churchill, Winston. A History of the English-Speaking Peoples. London: Cassell & Company Ltd., 1956 - 1958. First English edition, four volume set. In the publisher's original red cloth and gilt stamped boards and original dust jackets. Presented with a new archival cloth slipcase.
This is the first English edition of Winston Churchill’s A History of the English-Speaking Peoples. An expansive four volume set, each volume was published by Cassell & Company Ltd., in London. Volume I and Volume II were published in 1956, Volume III was published in 1957, and the final volume was published in 1958. Each book is housed in its original decorative dust jacket and the set presented together in a new archival slipcase.
Winston Churchill spent many years working on his A History of the English-Speaking Peoples. He began writing in the years just before the outbreak of WWII and already had over 500,000 words written by the time Germany invaded Poland. His writing went on hold for sixteen years until after his second premiership. So it was not until the mid-1950s, when Churchill was in his early eighties, that he was able to finish his work. In his Preface he remarks that the book “slumbered peacefully” until 1956, “when things have quieted down.” The volumes were published simultaneously in Britain, the United States, and Canada, a first for Churchill’s works.
The four volumes span centuries, starting with Caesar’s Invasion of Britain in 55 BCE and concluding with the Second Boer War in 1902. Volume I, The Birth of Britain, focuses on the birth of the British state. Volume II, The New World, tells the story of one of Britain’s most turbulent political periods. Volume III, The Age of Revolution, describes Britain’s rise to a world power and Volume IV, The Great Democracies, covers the rest of British history until the outbreak of The First World War. Churchill outlines the long and complicated British history including the creation of a constitutional monarchy, the parliamentary system, various wars and revolutions, and important leaders that all impacted the path Great Britain took as a nation.
Overall very good condition. The four volume set includes all original dust jackets that are now protected by mylar covers. The spines of the jackets show minor signs of wear. Price-clipped dust jackets. The books are bound in the original red cloth boards, with each of the titles gilt embossed on the spine. All four books are internally clean and bright with decorative top edges stained red, as issued. Book Dimensions: Vol I: 9 3/4" H x 6 3/4" W x 1 1/4" D. Vol II: 9 3/4" H x 6 1/2" W x 1 1/2" D. Vol III: 9 3/4" H x 6 1/2" W x 1 3/8" D. Vol IV: 9 3/4" H x 6 5/8" W x 1 1/4" D.
The set is housed in a new, custom matching slipcase. Made according to archival standards, the slipcase is decorated with a facsimile Churchill signature embossed in gilt and a portrait of Churchill inlaid on the front. Slipcase Dimensions: 10 1/4" H x 6 7/8" W x 5 3/4" D.