The Second World War, Volume I, The Gathering Storm, a pre-publication galley proof with comments
Winston S. Churchill
Price: 2,500.00 USD
Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1948. This exciting find is a galley proof of the first volume of Churchill's history of the Second World War. This offers a snapshot of Churchill's masterwork being prepared for publication. This is the only such galley proof we have seen on the market in memory. In July 1945, so near the victory he did so much to secure, Churchill lost the premiership to the Labour Party. Writing his history of the Second World War consumed most of the years he spent as Leader of the Opposition, before his second premiership in late 1951. Seldom, if ever, has a statesman had such singular ability to both make and write history. The sixth and final volume of The Second World War would not be published until 1953 - the year Churchill was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature. A galley proof is an early printing of a work, usually produced after a manuscript has been typeset but before proofreading. They are typically printed for the author, editors, and proof readers. They are normally produced on long sheets of paper with wide margins (for comments) and bound inexpensively. While galley proofs can also be used by publicists or sent to book reviewers, their primary purpose is the editing process. More polished Advance Reading Copies (ARC) come later, more closely resemble the final published form, and are typically produced in greater numbers for circulation to reviewers. This galley proof of The Gathering Storm measures 12 by 7 inches and bulks 1.5 inches. It is produced on long, single-sided sheets, untrimmed at the top and bottom edges and unpaginated. The manuscript is bound in plain brown paper with a simple title and author label printed black on white paper affixed to the front cover. It is printed with wide blank side margins, with the text occupying a centered column 4.25 inches wide. Textual differences between the U.S. (true first) edition and the later British first edition attest that this is a U.S. edition galley. This galley was evidently produced early enough in the pre-publication process that it lacks the preface, table of contents, acknowledgements, moral of the work, theme of the volume, and maps and diagrams of the published text. The text appears to closely conform to that of the published version. This copy bears extensive comments which appear likely to have been made by an early stage reviewer, whose identity is unknown, as is the precise date of publication. However, we know that "The Gathering Storm" title was not selected until at least early February 1948, with publication of the U.S. edition on 21 June 1948. The extensive margin comments appear consistent with those of a reviewer than those of an editor or proofreader. The reader's comments and underlining are in pencil, extending 29 pages into the text. A total of 17 pages bear notation and/or comments, these being pages 1, 3, 4, 6, 9-11, 14, 15, 20, 22-24, 26-29. All notations appear consistent in style and handwriting, indicating that they were made by a single reader. Several margin comments either dissent with or augment certain points of history addressed in the narrative, particularly with respect to the deficiencies and draconian demands of the Treaty of Versailles. The reader shows detailed knowledge of events, as comments sometimes name specific individuals. Moreover, there is some indication that the comments may be those of an American reader, since there is sharp criticism of England both expressed and implied, as well positive comment about Wilson; however, this is interpretative speculation. Overall condition is very good given the perishable nature of such an item. The brown paper binding is square, tight, clean, and complete, though dog-eared at the corners and with some wear and separation at the spine ends. The contents are clean and bright with some wear at the page edges of the first few dozen pages of text, as well as the final few pages. A hint of spotting is confined to the text block fore edge. 1st Edition. Good.