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Marlborough: His Life and Times, full set of four British first edition, first printings in dust jackets
London: George G. Harrap & Co. Ltd., 1933. 1st Edition. Hardcover. Very good/Very good. This is a full set of four British first edition, first printings in first printing dust jackets. Churchill's monumental biography of his great ancestor, John Churchill, the first Duke, was initially conceived a full 40 years before publication of the fourth and final volume. Churchill originally considered the idea of the biography in 1898, returning to it in earnest in 1928. Marlborough ultimately took 10 years of research and writing and is the most substantial published work of Churchill's "wilderness years" in the 1930s. The final volume was published on the eve of the Second World War in 1938. The work was very well received, both critically and aesthetically. The first edition is a physically impressive production. The books measure 9.25 x 6.25 inches and are roughly 2 inches thick. Each is bound in plum cloth with beveled edges, the Marlborough coat of arms gilt on the front cover, and a gilt top edge. Moreover, each volume is profusely illustrated. Unfortunately, the plum cloth binding in Volumes I-III proved highly susceptible to sun fading. (A different, more fade-resistant dye was used in Volume IV.) Without the dust jackets, Volumes I-III are nearly always spine faded and jacketed first editions are now scarce. Particularly scarce are first printing dust jackets for Volumes I & II. We caution collectors to be wary of price-clipped dust jackets, as later impression Volume I & II dust jackets state either "2nd Impression" or "3rd Impression" printed next to the price on the lower front flap. No such problem applies to Volumes III & IV, which each had only a single printing. This full British first edition, first printing set features all four volumes in very good or better condition, with the accompanying dust jackets in very good minus or better condition. Of note, all four dust jackets are unclipped, correct first printing examples. The Volume I dust jacket bears a 1 inch wide x .625 inch deep triangular loss at the upper right hinge, but is otherwise complete, with wear at extremities and wrinkling and toning of the spine. Both the Volume II & III jackets show some spine toning and wear at the spine heads, with a small chip at both the lower spine and the upper front hinge. The Volume IV jacket shows both toning and some minor staining to the spine, with a .25 inch loss at the lower spine and two small black ink marks to the lower right corner of the front face. All four dust jackets are protected in removable, archival quality clear covers. All four volumes beneath the jackets feature clean and tight bindings. The dust jackets have done their job; the usual fading to the bindings is limited to spots at the Volume I spine ends corresponding to dust jacket wear. The contents of all four volumes are crisp, bright, and tight. All four volumes feel unread. We find no previous ownership marks in the set. Spotting is mostly minor, generally limited to endpapers and page edges and only fore edge spotting to Volume III notable. The page edges show various degrees of mild age-toning. Bibliographic reference: Cohen A97.2(I-IV).a, Woods/ICS A40(aa); Langworth p.166.
      [Bookseller: Churchill Book Collector]
Last Found On: 2013-12-03           Check availability:      Biblio    


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