London: Cassell and Company Ltd., 1956-1958. [English History] SMARTLY BOUND FIRST EDITIONS. Four volumes. Octavo (25 x 17 x 15cm), pp. xxii; 416; pp. xii; 344 ; pp. xii; 332 ; pp. xii; 322. With occasional in-text maps and plans. In recent maroon half morocco with raised bands, gilt titles to blue labels on spines, and further gilt decoration to spines. Matching cloth over boards, and top edges gilt. Clean and unmarked copies in a new leather binding. Very good. 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 #55785
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