The Official Biography by Randolph Churchill
(vols 1,2) and Martin Gilbert is now at 24 volumes the longest
biography ever written (per Guinness Book of Records) and
still not complete, with a further 7 companion or document
volumes in process for the period 1942-1965. All of the 8
main text volumes are now out of print, and prices are rising,
with demand outstripping supply. The last price when in print
was £45.00 ( about $84.00) per volume. All companion
volumes are now out of print. Companions
to vol 5 are long out of print and constantly requested.
Companion Vol V part 3 sold new for £75.00, so this
high price kept print runs small ( c. 2500) The 'companion"
volumes to Volume VI (1939-1941) have been published in 3
volumes entitled THE
CHURCHILL WAR PAPERS.
All 3 are now out of print and the prices for the Heinemann
(UK) editions are high and rising.
on any volume in the table below to see the current stock
of that volume. Or click any number in the companion column
to see the current available stock of that companion volume.
Clicking on any of the 4 pictures leads to the current stock
of that set.
For the first five volumes, there are two editions
available, the American, from Houghton Mifflin; and the British,
from Heinemann. Contents are the same, but the binding is
different. The British editions are bound in maroon sailcloth
with solid colour dustwrappers as shown in the above photo.
The American editions have a two colour binding with a linen
spine and blue sides. The American dustwrappers are similar
in style to the English but in different colours, as shown
below right. The final 3 volumes have three varieties. the
British publisher produced "uniform" editions which
matched the first five volumes with maroon sailcloth bindings
and solid colour dustwrapper at a price £5.00 higher
than the "popular" edition which have cheaper bindings
in different shades and a pictorial dustwrapper with black
spine, as shown below right. As you would expect, most buyers
opted for the cheaper popular edition when published, and
now all the collectors want the better uniform edition. The
result is a 3-to-1 or more price differential. The American
publisher switched to a pictorial dustwrapper with white spines
for the final three volumes, so it is not possible to have
a truly uniform set
of American editions.
All 8 main volumes were also briefly offered in thick unabridged
in 1990's, as shown in the center picture below.
Complete sets in all three styles, as well as the companion volumes
and WAR PAPERS are normally held in stock. Sets are usually sold in either
the 8 Main text volumes, or sets of 21 with the 13 companion volumes included.
The war papers are usually considered additions.