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The Second World War, full set of six British first editions, finely bound in full red morocco by Sangorski & Sutcliffe / Zaehnsdorf
London: Cassell and Company, Ltd., 1948. First edition, first printing. Leather_bound. Here is a truly spectacular full set of British first editions of The Second World War, exquisitely bound in full red morocco by Sangorski & Sutcliffe / Zaehnsdorf. Superlatives will fail to do this set justice. The superb quality, beautifully grained, dark red morocco features hubbed and gilt ruled spines, each bearing the title and author, as well as the individual volume numbers, subtitles, and publication dates. Churchill's signature is rendered in gilt on the front covers and there are gilt rules on the binding edges, gilt page edges, and gilt ruled turn-ins framing striking marbled endpapers. Even the gold, red, and white head and foot bands are executed with noteworthy skill and aesthetic effect. This truly gorgeous example of the fine binder's craft is a reminder to collectors that not all fine bindings are created equal. Condition of the bindings is pristine, with no wear or flaws detected. The British first edition, first printing contents are well-suited to the bindings, beautifully clean with no previous ownership marks and only slight spotting confined to the first two volumes. This six volume epic is Churchill's history of the epic 20th Century struggle that was so indelibly stamped by his leadership. Seldom, if ever, has history endowed a statesman with both singular ability to make history, and singular ability to write it. As with so much of what Churchill wrote, The Second World War is not "history" in the strictly academic, objectivist sense, but rather Churchill's perspective on history. In his March 1948 introduction to the first volume, Churchill himself made the disclaimer, "I do not describe it as history... it is a contribution to history..." Nonetheless the compelling fact remains, as stated by Churchill himself, "I am perhaps the only man who has passed through both the two supreme cataclysms of recorded history in high Cabinet office... I was for more than five years in this second struggle with Germany the Head of His Majesty's government. I write, therefore, from a different standpoint and with more authority than was possible in my earlier books." Certainly The Second World War may be regarded as an intensely personal and inherently biased history. Nonetheless, Churchill's work remains seminal, iconic, and a vital part of the historical record. Richard Langworth calls the six-volume epic "indispensable reading for anyone who seeks a true understanding of the war that made us what we are today." Jacketed British first edition sets in marginal condition are not uncommon. However, the coarse cloth bindings of this edition proved susceptible to soiling and mildew, the contents (printed on post-war "Economy Standards" paper) proved highly prone to spotting, the red-stained top edges are most often severely faded, and the dust jackets proved exceptionally vulnerable to pronounced spine toning. Such a superbly bound first edition set is a rare and handsome alternative. Please note that this set may require additional postage. Bibliographic reference: Cohen A240.4(I-VI).a, Woods/ICS A123(ba), Langworth p.264.
      [Bookseller: Churchill Book Collector]
Last Found On: 2014-11-29           Check availability:      IOBABooks    


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