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A History of the English-Speaking Peoples.

Availability: In stock

Published: London The Educational Book Company Ltd, 1956-58

Stock Code: 132864

OR On display in 43 Dover Street


First edition of the Chartwell Edition, inscribed or signed by Churchill in each volume for Theresa Arnison, the wife of Rowland Arnison, the chairman of the Conservative association in Churchill's Woodford constituency: vol. I "Inscribed by Winston S. Churchill for Mrs. Arnison Nov. 1956"; vol. II signed "Winston S. Churchill"; vol. III "Inscribed by Winston S. Churchill November 1957", vol. IV "Inscribed by Winston S. Churchill May 1958". Together with a one-page typed letter signed on Chartwell letterhead dated 10 November 1956; "My Dear Mrs. Arnison, Here at last is your book, signed by Winston. I do hope you are keeping well. Yours very sincerely Clementine S. Churchill". It is extremely unusual to find the Chartwell Edition either signed or inscribed, and particularly so in all four volumes.
Churchill was MP for Woodford from 1945 to 1964, and Clementine was the President of the Woodford Conservative Association; consequently they were closely linked with another couple, the Arnisons, with Rowland, who was Chairman of the Association, and his wife Theresa the Chairwoman of the Women's Advisory Committee of the Association. Although come election time Churchill did campaign vigourously in his own constituency, such was his prestige that he was in great demand to bolster the campaigns of other candidates, so he was frequently called away in support of the national campaign. In his absence, Clementine and Rowland ran the campaign in Woodford; Rowland recalled the influence of Clementine: "during his absence on these tours his wife has held the fort here. Many of our divisional meetings end with a call of 'Three cheers for Churchill!' Whereupon he will come forward and, with his broadest smile, call for another three for his wife" (cited in Fishman, My Darling Clementine, p. 342). Through their work together on these campaigns Clementine and Theresa became firm friends, Clementine here fulfilling her colleague's request signed copies of Winston's latest work. Correspondence between Churchill and the Arnisons is preserved in the Churchill Archives, Cambridge (reference CHUR 3/13). Overall a very neat association copy, linking the famously uxorious Churchills with a couple with a significant rôle in Winston's post-war political life.
The Chartwell Edition was the first illustrated edition of Churchill's famous history, the second overall. Churchill's history of the two branches of the English-speaking nations - the British Empire and the United States - was begun during his "Wilderness Years" in the early 1930s, but not completed until after his retirement from the political stage in the late 1950s. The events of the Second World War, the major interruption in the writing process, had reconfirmed his belief in the "Special Relationship". "For the second time in the present century the British Empire and the United States have stood together facing the perils of war on the largest scale known among men, and since the cannons ceased to fire and the bombs to burst we have become more conscious of our common duty to the human race". Consequently he gave considerable attention to the key events of American history, around a quarter of the third volume, "The Age of Revolution", is dedicated to the American War of Independence, and a full third of the final volume, "The Great Democracies" contains a detailed study of the American Civil War.

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4 volumes, large octavo. Original blue cloth, gilt-panelled spines with red leather labels lettered in gilt, front covers lettered and ruled in gilt, top edges blue, blue and white endbands.


With plates, diagrams and tables throughout.


Some scuffing to labels as usual. A near-fine, bright and tight set.


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