London: Cassell and Company, 1956-1958. [English History] FIRST EDITIONS. 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 publisher's red cloth with gilt titles to spines, top edges red, pictorial dust-jackets priced at 30s. Booksellers ticket to front pastedown of each volume, internally fine, edges toned. Wrappers show well with some light edgewear and light toning to spines, a few closed tears, some loss to top of the spine of volume one. An attractive set. 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 #61322
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