London: Educational Book Company, 1956-58. [History] First Illustrated Edition, the Chartwell Edition. Complete in four volumes. Octavo (25 x 17 x 16cm). Each volume with several suites of double-sided black and white photographic plates. Publisher's blue buckram with gilt stamped boards, red leather title labels and gilt decoration to spines; top edges blue. Some small scuffs and marks to cloth and labels, spines very marginally sunned. Near fine. This is the author's last great work, only available some twenty years after he wrote the first draft, which then lay dormant whilst he attended to National and Parliamentary matters. In his preface he remarks that the book 'slumbered peacefully', until 1956, 'when things had quietened down'. Reading reports of the last decade of his life, one is struck by the central interest this history represented in his final years, and how rapidly he sank into decline and depression after the final volume was published. Item #52392
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