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The World Crisis, full set of six British first edition, first printings, in dust jackets

The World Crisis, full set of six British first edition, first printings, in dust jackets

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The World Crisis, full set of six British first edition, first printings, in dust jackets

by Winston S. Churchill

  • Used
  • Hardcover
  • first
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Seller rating:
This seller has earned a 5 of 5 Stars rating from Biblio customers.
San Diego, California, United States
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About This Item

London: Thornton Butterworth Limited, 1923. First edition, first printing. Hardcover. This is a six-volume British first edition, first printing set of Winston Churchills history of the First World War in which he played such a critical, controversial, and varied role. Sets thus, in dust jackets, are an elusive prize.

When these volumes were published, between 1923 and 1931, booksellers often discarded the dust jackets. Even those spared by booksellers often did not survive. Mere presence of the jackets commands attention; this particular set is compelling, the jackets in superior condition to those in the precious few full sets we have been able to offer over the years. Of particular note, the 1911-1914 jacket is the first issue, with a blank rear face that does not advertise subsequent volumes in the series, and the exceptionally scarce Eastern Front jacket and the two 1916-1918 dust jackets so prone to brittleness and fragmentation are substantially complete and in one piece.

This set features volumes that approach near fine in jackets that are very good or better. All six bindings are tight and square, bright and clean as only jacketed copies can be, with vivid spine gilt and almost none of the typical scuffing to the handsome but wear-prone, smooth navy cloth. We note only light shelf wear to extremities, including a few small corner bumps and incidental blemishes, as well as a touch of blistering to The Aftermath, primarily along the rear joint. The contents are not only internally bright, but with a crisp, unread feel across the set. Spotting, endemic to these editions, is inevitably present, but modest, only light and intermittent within, substantially confined to endpapers and page edges. The only previous owner name is both intriguing and contemporary. Three lines inked on the front free endpaper recto of the first volume read: R. F. Knight | Agamemnon | Apr/23 Agamemnon was the name of the last of Britains pre-dreadnaught battleships, which saw service in the Dardanelles during the First World War. But, of course, the name could have other meanings. Small, vintage, bookseller stickers are affixed to the lower front pastedowns of the 1911-1914 and 1916-1918 Part I volumes.

The dust jackets are an impressive shelf presence, all correct first printing examples. The 1911-1914 jacket is toned on the spine, perimeter, and upper rear face, soiled, and worn at extremities, but nonetheless substantially complete with trivial loss confined to the spine ends and flap fold corners. The 1915 jacket is an excellent survivor, entirely complete with only minor wear and tiny, short, closed tears to extremities. Light overall soiling and minimal spine toning do not diminish excellent shelf presentation. The two 1916-1918 dust jackets suffer chipping to extremities and some closed tears, but are notably clean, with almost no appreciable spine toning and remarkably in one piece, rather than split at the flap folds and hinges as is typical. The 1916-1918 Part I jacket has two tiny losses at the center left spine and minor scarring just below the volume number, removing the original, printed publishers price (quite likely done by the Sydney bookseller whose sticker is affixed to the books lower front pastedown). The Aftermath jacket is nearly complete, with only fractional loss to the joint and flap fold extremities, a few short, closed tears, and quite mild spine toning. The Eastern Front dust jacket both extremely scarce and notoriously brittle is noteworthy in virtually any condition. This example is both substantially complete and in one piece, spared the expected splits to the hinges and flap folds. There is irregular, shallow loss intermittently along the top edges and lesser loss to the bottom edges. The pale green hue of the paper is lightly, uniformly tanned on the spine, but the red subtitle print remains bright and distinct. All six dust jackets are fitted with clear, removable, archival covers.

Reference: Cohen A69.2(I).b, (II).a, (III-1&2).a, (IV).a, (V).a; Woods/ICS A31(ab); Langworth p.105


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Churchill Book Collector US (US)
Bookseller's Inventory #
The World Crisis, full set of six British first edition, first printings, in dust jackets
Winston S. Churchill
Book Condition
Quantity Available
First edition, first printing
Thornton Butterworth Limited
Place of Publication
Date Published
0.00 lbs
May be a multi-volume set and require additional postage.

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About the Seller

Churchill Book Collector

Seller rating:
This seller has earned a 5 of 5 Stars rating from Biblio customers.
Biblio member since 2010
San Diego, California

About Churchill Book Collector

We buy and sell books by and about Sir Winston Churchill. If you seek a Churchill edition you do not find in our current online inventory, please contact us; we might be able to find it for you. We are always happy to help fellow collectors answer questions about the many editions of Churchill's many works.


Some terminology that may be used in this description includes:

"Cloth-bound" generally refers to a hardcover book with cloth covering the outside of the book covers. The cloth is stretched...
Used to mean that the binding of a book has not been overly loosened by frequent use.
Shelf Wear
Shelf wear (shelfwear) describes damage caused over time to a book by placing and removing a book from a shelf. This damage is...
A book in fine condition exhibits no flaws. A fine condition book closely approaches As New condition, but may lack the...
Generally refers to minor discoloration or staining.
A term often used to indicate a book's new-like condition. Indicates that the hinges are not loosened. A book described as crisp...
Indicates that the affected part of the book has been impacted in such a way so as to cause a flattening, indention, or light...
The page on the right side of a book, with the term Verso used to describe the page on the left side.
Sometimes used as another term for dust jacket, a protective and often decorative wrapper, usually made of paper which wraps...
A defect in which small pieces are missing from the edges; fraying or small pieces of paper missing the edge of a paperback, or...
First Edition
In book collecting, the first edition is the earliest published form of a book. A book may have more than one first edition in...
The decorative application of gold or gold coloring to a portion of a book on the spine, edges of the text block, or an inlay in...
The collective of the top, fore and bottom edges of the text block of the book, being that part of the edges of the pages of a...
The outer portion of a book which covers the actual binding. The spine usually faces outward when a book is placed on a shelf....

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