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CHURCHILL, Winston S.

A History of the English-Speaking Peoples.

London: Cassell and Company Ltd, 1956-8 Stock Code: 141547
£2,500.00
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With typed letter signed from Churchill to the sculptor Herbert Haseltine

First editions, first impressions, of Churchill's great history, paired with an original typed letter signed from Churchill to the French-American sculptor Herbert Haseltine (1877-1962): "My dear Mr. Hazeltine sic, It is very good of you to send me the delightful landscape which your Father painted in California in 1899. I think it is a charming picture, and I am very pleased to have it. Thank you so much. Thank you, too, for your kind letter. I hope that all goes well with you. All good wishes for 1956. Yours very sincerely, Winston S. Churchill".

Haseltine's sculptures, generally of animals or equestrian, are exhibited today across the world, including the equestrian statue of George Washington outside the Washington National Cathedral. From 1947 he was resident in France, maintaining a rich social life with close connections to many members of European and American high society. He corresponded with Churchill for many years, sending him examples of his work, and produced for the statesman a bronze cast of Clementine Churchill's hand and of Churchill's poodle Rufus. Churchill, an amateur artist himself, wrote many times to praise Haseltine's artistic skill and to commend his work, and exhibited a Haseltine horse statue in his dining room for many years. The letter here refers to Haseltine's gift of a landscape painting by his father, the American painter William Stanley Haseltine (1835-1900).

Churchill contributed two forewords to exhibition catalogues of Herbert Haseltine's work, in the first declaring "in sculpture... I give my vote unhesitatingly to the perfection of physical detail which makes Mr. Haseltine's bronze animals such a joy to behold and such a treasure to own... He combines, to a degree that must surely have been rare at all times, the inspiration of the artist not only with a tireless application to detail but with a deep and expert technical knowledge of the subjects he has chosen to depict" (Exhibition of Sculpture, May 28th to June 27th 1953).

Churchill began A History of the English-Speaking Peoples during his period in the political wilderness in the early 1930s, but did not complete it until the latter 1950s, after his final retirement as Prime Minister. The events of the Second World War, the major interruption in the writing process, had reconfirmed his belief in the "special relationship", the shared heritage and destiny of Britain and the United States. Consequently he gave considerable attention to the key events of American history, especially the War of Independence and the Civil War. The work met with acclaim and proved an international best-seller, further vindicating Churchill's awarding of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1953. A masterpiece of readable, popular history, it remains in print today.

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Description

4 volumes, octavo. Original red cloth, spines lettered in gilt, top edges red. With the dust jackets. Together with a typed letter signed, 11 January 1956, with Churchill's Hyde Park Gate letterhead, and with the original envelope.

Illustrations

Several maps and genealogical tables to text.

Condition

A very good set indeed, clean and unmarked, in the jackets, not price-clipped, spine ends nicked and creased, couple of marks and short closed tears, spine panels a little toned, else bright. Letter lightly creased as folded and gently toned, hole-punched at top left, in very good condition.

Bibliography

Cohen A267.1(I) - (IV); Woods A138(a).

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