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Winston S. Churchill bust


[SIGNED First English Edition Set in Dust Jackets, with Secretarial Note of Presentation]

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By: Winston S. Churchill
Edition: First English Edition Set
Biblio: (Cohen A240.4[I-VI].a) (Woods A123ba)
Date: 1948-1953
Published: Cassell and Co. [London]
Size (Details): 16mo (Maps, diagrams and tables throughout)
Binding: Hardcover (with Dust Jackets) [Black cloth]
Volumes: 6 volumes

Category: Signed
From: Churchill at Chartwell
Item Number: 205485



The best-selling six-volume history that helped gain Churchill a Nobel Prize for literature. Published first in the U.S., the ensuing English edition contained numerous corrections and even a few additional maps. It is therefore considered more definitive, though today the American edition may be rarer. The series was simultaneously published by the Book-of-the-Month-Club, printed on the same presses as the first editions, and thus today can easily be confused with them.

Description: This very good First English edition set, in unclipped dust jackets, is SIGNED in ink: "Winston S. Churchill " on the title page of Volume I. The jackets have darkened modestly with age but the spine type remains extremely bright. There is a faint circular cup stain visible in the front jacket face of Volume I, and there are traces of edgewear along the spine. The books are all clean and tight; the black cloth fresh, the corners sharp. The topstains retain significant color, with variable fading to Volumes III and IV. The contents are fine and virtually unfoxed.

Laid-into Volume I is a presentation note on 10, Downing Street, Whitehall notepaper, dated "6th January 1954," from Winston Churchill's Personal Private Secretary Elizabeth Gilliatt to the American philosopher Norman Malcolm:

Dear Mr. Malcolm,

I now return your copy of THE GATHERING STORM, which the Prime Minister was very glad to inscribe for you. He is sorry to have kept it so long.

Churchill was still less than a year removed from his massive June 1953 stroke when he signed this set. He had willed himself to a stunningly quick recovery, returning to Downing Street by September. His signature here betrays not a tremor and is too distinctive to be secretarial, with the wide sweeping "C" supplanting the middle "S." initial in a particularly effusive signing style that Churchill rarely employed after the 1930s. In a sense, its deployment here represents a revisiting of his past, if not a return to his prime. It is all the more remarkable simply because it is there.

NORMAN MALCOLM (1911-1990) became one of Ludwig Wittgenstein's closest friends and interpreters after meeting him while a student at Cambridge University in 1938. Malcolm returned to Cambridge after the war, before joining the faculty at Cornell University, where he hosted Wittgenstein on occasion. His own philosophical writings were widely read and respected.

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Bibliographic numbers (in parentheses) are from Frederick Woods' original Churchill bibliography (Woods), as emended by Richard Langworth in his Connoisseur's Guide; and from the new, greatly expanded Churchill bibliography by Ronald Cohen (Cohen).










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