Considered to be one of the most influential figures of the 20th century, British statesman Winston S. Churchill served as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom throughout the Second World War and was one of the most prolific writers to chronicle it. A non-academic historian, writer and artist, Churchill won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1953 for his overall, lifetime body of work which included several biographies, memoirs, and histories.
Churchill began his writing career as a young army officer when he saw action in the Anglo–Sudan and the Second Boer Wars, gaining fame as a war correspondent. At the forefront of politics for fifty years, he held many political and cabinet positions. At the outbreak of the Second World War, Churchill was appointed First Lord of the Admiralty and took the lead in warning about Nazi Germany and in campaigning for rearmament.
Following the resignation of Neville Chamberlain in May of 1940, Churchill became the Prime Minister of England. His speeches and radio broadcasts helped inspire British resistance, especially during the difficult days of 1940–41 when the British Commonwealth and Empire stood almost alone in its active opposition to Adolf Hitler.
British publisher Cassell and Company began to publish Churchill’s historic War Speeches in 1941, the first volume of which, Into Battle, was compiled by Churchill’s father Randolph S. Churchill who himself described the published speeches as a “…contemporary history of the war which is as lively as it is authoritative; and, so far as contemporary history is of value, they may be said to be the last word upon the war.”
Published between 1948 and 1953 and consisting of six volumes, the overwhelmingly positive reception of Churchill’s The Second World War was largely responsible for his award of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1953. The books were written with team of assistants and recounted the war from Churchill’s own personal point of view based on personal minutes he had compiled on a daily basis throughout the war. The books had enormous sales in both the United Kingdom and the United States and made Churchill a rich man for the first time in his life. He would continue writing as the primary means to support himself and his family throughout the rest of his life
Published between 1956 and 1958, Churchill’s last great work, A History of the English-Speaking Peoples chronicled the the history of Britain from Julius Caesar’s invasions of Britain in 55 BC to the beginning of the First World War in four volumes. The books received favorable reviews in both the United Kingdom and United States. J.H. Plumb of the Daily Telegraph wrote on the work: “This history will endure; not only because Sir Winston has written it, but also because of its own inherent virtues — its narrative power, its fine judgment of war and politics, of soldiers and statesmen, and even more because it reflects a tradition of what Englishmen in the hey-day of their empire thought and felt about their country’s past.”
In addition to the items highlighted above, our collection currently includes The First Collected Works of Sir Winston S. Churchill: Centenary Limited Edition, an inscribed first edition of Lord Randolph Churchill, and inscribed first edition of Marlborough His Life and Times, a rare Winston S. and Clementine Churchill Signed Guestbook, a finely bound first edition set of Winston Churchill’s War Speeches, and a finely bound first edition set of The Second World War among many others.