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Winston S. Churchill, compiled by Charles Eade. The War Speeches of the Rt. Hon. Winston S. Churchill, presentation set inscribed on the day of publication by the compiler, Charles Eade, to Sir Arthur Elvin, owner of Wembley Stadium. Cassell and Company Ltd., London, 1952.

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Description: This presentation set of the first edition, first printing of the three-volume "definitive" edition of Churchill's war speeches was inscribed on the day of publication by the compiler, Charles Eade, to Sir Arthur Elvin. The inscription, inked in black in ten lines on the front free endpaper, reads: "Presented to | Sir Arthur Elvin | by the | Compiler | Charles Eade | as a token of appreciation | of the many happy | visits to Wembley Stadium | and Pool. | Sept. 3. 1952". Churchill's war speeches were first published in seven individual volumes. Charles Eade (1903-1964) played a critical role in their original publication, as well as in this edition issued during Churchill's second premiership. A noted figure in British journalism, Eade became editor of the Sunday Dispatch in 1938, a post he held until 1957. Eade was also an early radio sports commentator, and during the Second World War served as public relations advisor to Louis Mountbatten. In 1942 Eade stepped in as compiler of Churchill's wartime speech volumes, replacing Churchill's son, Randolph, who had been called to wartime service. Notably, Eade offered his services free of charge, stating, "my reward for the task would be the pleasure of doing it" (7 May 1941 letter from Charles Eade to Kathleen Hill). Eade ultimately edited six of the seven wartime volumes - all except the first, Into Battle. For this "definitive" edition of Churchill's war speeches, Eade returned to the role. Eade later served as editor for Churchill By His Contemporaries. Sir Arthur Elvin (1899-1957), son of a police officer, joined the Royal Flying Corps at seventeen. Sent to France as an observer, he was shot down and taken prisoner. He escaped twice but was recaptured because he could not swim. This experience, he later said, made him want to build a public swimming-pool. In the late 1920s, Elvin purchased Wembley Stadium, where he established greyhound racing. In 1933-34 Wembley became more than a racing track with construction of the Empire Pool. A reinforced concrete frame of three hinged arches spanning 240 feet made the largest concrete span in the world at that time. The pool was 200 feet long and 60 feet wide, with a removable floor in order to stage skating, ice hockey, ice spectacles, and boxing. During the Second World War, Elvin entertained servicemen and women and the pool was occupied by Gibraltarians. In 1948 Elvin’s longtime ambition and advocacy was realized when Wembley Stadium and the Empire Pool were used for the Olympic Games. Elvin was made an honorary freeman of the borough of Wembley in 1945, appointed MBE in the same year, and knighted in 1946. (ODNB) In 1952, the publisher reissued the War Speeches as this new, three-volume edition, which may be considered superior to the original seven-volume wartime editions in both aesthetics and content. Eade modified many speech titles, added several speeches, and eliminated several for which he deemed "time has reduced their significance." The speeches "are linked, where necessary, with brief notes to form a complete, chronological story." Each volume features an index. The three tall volumes (10 x 6.35 inches) are bound in smooth, dark blue cloth with stout boards and gilt spine print and wrapped in uniform dust jackets. This presentation set is in very good condition in like dust jackets. The blue bindings are clean and bright with minor wear confined to extremities. The contents are bright with a crisp feel. Internal spotting is confined to the Volume I endpapers. The page edges show mild age-toning, trivial spotting, and faint staining to the lower Volume III fore edges. The dust jackets are bright with modest spotting to the Volume II jacket, light wear to extremities, and neatly price-clipped Volume I & III lower front flaps. The dust jackets are protected in removable, archival quality clear covers. Bibliographic reference: Cohen A263.1(I-III).a, Woods/ICS A136(a.1), Langworth p.303.

Seller: Churchill Book Collector ABAA/ILAB/IOBA, San Diego, CA, U.S.A.