For our first blog on our new website, we are pleased to announce forthcoming selections from the unparalleled collection of Churchill’s Bibliographer, Ronald I. Cohen.
Ron’s may well be the most impressively comprehensive collection of published works by Sir Winston Churchill ever assembled. Nobody knows Churchill’s works better. And nobody owns more of them.
Churchill wrote 58 books, 260 pamphlets, and 840 articles. His speeches fill 9,000 pages. His published works appear in a dizzying myriad of editions, issues, states, and printings. And beyond works authored solely by him, Churchill’s words appear in a host of works by others – in the form of letters, chapters, forewords, introductions, prefaces, and similar contributions.
Fortunately for collectors, Ron literally wrote the book on Churchill’s published works.
Nearly 25 years of exhaustive research went into his indispensible three-volume, 2,183 page Bibliography of the Writings of Sir Winston Churchill. No less an authority than Sir Martin Gilbert effusively praised Ron’s work, calling it: “…a high point – and surely a peak – of Churchill bibliographic research… adding not only to the bibliographer’s art, but to knowledge of Winston Churchill himself.” Published in 2006, Ron’s Bibliography seeks to detail every single edition, issue, state, printing, and variant of every printed work authored by, or with a contribution from, Winston S. Churchill.
In his 2007 review of the Bibliography, Professor Christopher Bell said: “Ronald Cohen is the first scholar to capture the full scope of Churchill’s literary activities, not only his many books, speeches, and articles, but the thousands of letters, war despatches, memoranda, and lesser items he produced during his long life. This is a model of how a bibliography should be written: with meticulous attention to detail, exhaustive research, a deep respect for the subject, and a literary flair of its own. It was a long time in the making, but it was worth the wait.” (Finest Hour, No. 133, Winter 2007)
Above is our copy of Volume I. With its broken binding, soiled covers, and liberally annotated contents, it may be the ugliest book you will ever see pictured on our website. It is also among the most valued and certainly the most frequently consulted.
As impressive as his Bibliography is, Ron has spent even more decades seeking to *obtain* copies of each and every item in his Bibliography. We believe that he has come closer to accomplishing this goal than any other collector.
Of course, Ron accessed hundreds of institutional and private collections in order to personally examine each publication detailed in his Bibliography. However, discerning collectors will note the impressive number of times Ron is able to reference items from his own collection in his thousands of bibliographic entries.
Ron’s collection ranges from the most obscure reprints to truly special items. To name just a few:
- The only known jacketed first edition set of The River War, which is also signed and dated by Churchill in the year of publication.
- What may well be the last book ever signed by Churchill, signed just eight weeks before his death in January 1965 (which we will soon offer for sale).
- The broadest and most representative collection of speech pamphlets, including potentially unique items such as the Far Eastern publication of Churchill’s speech on the Fall of Singapore.
- Every volume of Hansard with a speech by Churchill, including his maiden speech, his five Budget speeches, and his wartime speeches.
After many decades of acquiring, Ron is paring his collection. Liquidation of select items from Ron’s collection offers collectors a truly unique opportunity.
In the coming months, we will offer hundreds of items from the Cohen Collection. These items are chiefly either signed/inscribed items or editions of which Ron has more than one copy. The many hundreds of “spare” items in Ron’s collection are more numerous than most serious collectors’ primary collections.
First notification of available items will be to those subscribing to our contact list, beginning a few weeks hence.
We hope you enjoy reviewing the items offered as much as we have enjoyed preparing them for your consideration.
Churchill Book Collector