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[Sword of Honour Trilogy, comprising:] Men at Arms; [with] Officers and Gentlemen; [and] Unconditional Surrender
London: Chapman & Hall [through 1961], 1952. First Edition. Hardcover. Fine/Fine-. Three First Impressions. 8vo: vi, 314; [10]; 335; [8]; 311. Original publisher's blue cloth stamped in gilt with blue top stains, in bright red, blue, and white pictorial dust jackets. Men at Arms (1952): About Fine (bookseller's stamp to front fly leaf), in Fine (short closed tear to back panel) jacket priced 15s. Officers and Gentlemen (1955): About Fine (offsetting to fly leaf from front jacket flap), in about Fine jacket, priced 12s/6d, clean and bright but with slight loss of color (not affecting lettering or design) to front panel. Unconditional Surrender (1961): Fine, square and tight, in about Fine jacket priced 18s net (hint of fading to fugitive red on upper third of spine panel. In all, a superb set, scarcely seen in such condition. Burgess 99, pp. 61-62. & "Sword of Honour is not merely the story of one man's battles; it is the whole history of the European struggle itself, told with verve, humour, pathos and sharp accuracy." (Burgess). In fact, it was not planned as a trilogy. Following Officers and Gentlemen, the second installment, Waugh decided he had said all he had to say about the experiences of Guy Crouchback, heir of a declining aristocratic English Roman Catholic family who, like Waugh, participated in the Dakar expedition, served a stint with the commandos, experienced the débâcle on Crete, and ended the war in Yugoslavia. But Waugh later changed his mind and completed the sequence with Unconditional Surrender. In 1966, he pruned, revised and issued the trilogy as Sword of Honour (the title is drawn from the ceremonial sword, the "Sword of Stalingrad," made "at the King's command," to be presented to the Soviet Union in recognition of the sacrifices the Soviets made against the Nazis. Before being sent to Moscow, it was put on display in Westminster Abbey where long queues of people "suffused with gratitude to their remote allies" come to worship it. Guy Crouchback is unmoved and chooses not to visit, as he is distinctly not impressed by Joseph Stalin.) But, according to Burgess, "Most readers prefer to take the items severally and in their unrevised form." In the event, it is generally regarded as Waugh’s finest achievement in fiction, with its "fine war reportage and superb comic action." Waugh received the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Men at Arms. Note: With few exceptions (always noted), we only stock books in exceptional condition, with dust jackets carefully preserved in archival, removable polypropylene sleeves. All orders are packaged with care and posted promptly. Satisfaction guaranteed.
      [Bookseller: Fine Editions Ltd]
Last Found On: 2013-10-22           Check availability:      Biblio    

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