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The First Collected Works. Centenary Limited Edition;

[together with:] The Collected Essays. Centenary Limited Edition.

London: Library of Imperial History in association with the Hamlyn Publishing Group Ltd, 1973-6 Stock Code: 144299
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Superb set of Churchill's works

First complete collected edition, number 139 of 1,750 sets published. The Centenary Edition is the only full collected works of Winston Churchill, reproducing his 50 books in 34 volumes. The Library of Imperial History went bankrupt before the projected run of 3,000 sets could be completed, so "the print run never exceeded 2,000 copies and only 1,750 sets were ever published" (Cohen).

"The specifications were titanic: five million words in 19,000 pages, weighing 19 lbs, taking up 4.5 ft of shelf space. To achieve publication, 11 publishing houses in Great Britain, the United States and Canada released their individual copyrights in exchange for the promise that no other complete edition of Churchill works would be published until the expiration of international copyright in 2019" (Richard M. Langworth).

This set is accompanied by the four-volume Centenary Limited Edition of Churchill's collected essays and journalistic writings, again intended to be limited to 3,000 sets, and not always present, as well as the subscriber's proof copy of Volume I. Also included are the prospectus for The Collected Works, one letter from the publishers to the subscriber, and the original conditions of sale.

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Together 39 volumes, octavo. Original full vellum with 22-carat gold blocking, including titles to spines, armorial device to front boards and ruling to spines and front boards, gilt edges, marbled endpapers, printed on Archive Long-Life Text Paper. Housed in the original green leatherette slipcases stamped with the Churchill arms in gilt.


Illustrations throughout, as plates and to the text.


Subscriber's bookplate to front endpapers. Typical natural variation to the tone of the vellum bindings, light cockling to vellum in places, some slipcases scuffed with minor shelf wear; some volumes with minor abrasion to front endpapers or half-titles as a result of adhesive used to attach the bookplates. Nonetheless, an excellent, bright set.


Cohen AA1; Langworth ICS AA1; Woods p. 391.


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