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The Second World War.
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CHURCHILL, Winston S.

The Second World War.

[The Gathering Storm; Their Finest Hour; The Grand Alliance; The Hinge of Fate; Closing the Ring; Triumph and Tragedy.]

Published: London: Cassell & Co. Ltd., 1948–54

Stock code: 64311

Price: £11,500

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First editions, first impressions of the single most important historical account of the Second World War. Signed and dated 1950 by Churchill to the half-title of volume 2. Max Beloff observed that there was no statesman of the twentieth century “whose retrospective accounts of the great events in which he has taken part have so dominated subsequent historical thinking.” A man who had always primarily made his living by his pen, Churchill was the only major war leader to give an authoritative account of the conflict, and his ringing phrases seeped into the collective memory. As J. H. Plumb noted in his essay in A. J. P. Taylor’s Churchill: Four Faces and the Man “Churchill the historian lies at the very heart of all historiography of the Second World War, and will always remain there… [we still] move down the broad avenues which he drove through war’s confusion and complexity.”

6 volumes, octavo. Finely bound by the Chelsea Bindery in dark blue morocco, titles gilt to spines, raised bands, single ruled gilt panel to compartments with rampant lion device gilt to the first, fifth and sixth, single rule to boards, autograph block to front boards, twin rule to turn-ins, burgundy endpapers, gilt edges. With diagrams and tables throughout the text. The occasional minor blemish, an excellent set in fine bindings.

Bibliography: Cohen A240.4; Woods A123(b).

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