London: Cassell and Company, 1956-1958. [English History] LEATHER-BOUND FIRST EDITIONS. Complete in 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. Handsomely bound in red half oasis morocco, with raised bands, gilt titles and further gilt 'lion rampant' decoration to the spines, and matching cloth over boards. Top edges gilt. Clean copies in an attractive recent leather binding. 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 #63443
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