The World Crisis, 1915.London: Thornton Butterworth Limited, 1923 Stock Code: 139948
NotesFourth printing (stated second edition), published in December 1923, two months after the first printing. This copy inscribed by the author on the initial blank: "From Winston S. Chuchill to A. J. Hawkey, 30 Oct. 1924". The recipient was Alfred James Hawkey (1877-1952), chairman of the Woodford Urban District Council from 1914 to 1934 - Churchill inscribed the book the day following the October 1924 election, in which he was elected MP for Epping as an Independent Constitutionalist, but with Conservative backing. Hawkey remained active in local Conservative politics for the rest of his life, and was consequently close to Churchill, who was MP for Epping, and its successor constituency of Woodford, until 1964. Martin Gilbert provides an overview of Hawkey's significance for Churchill: "For a quarter of a century Hawkey had been his guide to all constituency matters, and a staunch supporter. In 1948 Churchill had described him, in volume I of his war memoirs Second World War, I, p. 258, as 'my ever-faithful and tireless champion' during the Munich crisis, when there had been pressure to replace Churchill by a more appeasement-oriented Member. At Hawkey's funeral, one fellow-mourner later recalled, Churchill 'stood beside the grave in tears'" (Gilbert, Churchill, vol. VIII, p. 732). The importance of his role in backing Churchill in his anti-appeasement stance cannot be overstated, Churchill himself gave full recognition to the consequence of Hawkey's efforts: "Hawkey, with a strong circle of determined men and women, fought the ground inch by inch and stood by me, and at the decisive meeting of the Association I received in this murky hour a Vote of Confidence of three to two. But it was a gloomy winter" (Second World War, I, pp. 258-259).
This is the second volume in Churchill's six-volume memoir of the First World War, where he played a pivotal role as First Lord of the Admiralty. "Although parts of The World Crisis were highly autobiographical, drawing on documents from Churchill's private papers, the book as a whole was a stupendous narrative of the war in Europe featuring masterly set-piece accounts of major battles. Dictated to secretaries as he strode up and down the room, it exhibited his passionate interest in war and his romantic conception of the 'true glory' of the troops who perished" (ODNB).
Octavo. Original blue cloth, spine lettered in gilt.
With 7 maps and 3 leaves of facsimiles.
A somewhat used copy, the cloth soiled and a little worn, slight lean to spine, front board a touch damped at the fore-edge and top corner, front endpapers and facing leaves a little stained in consequence, crease and nick to rear free endpaper, contents overall somewhat toned, browning to pp. 306-7 from an old newspaper fragment. Still a good, sound copy.
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