View Full Version : History of the English Speaking Peoples

victor tango
10th Feb 2015, 17:06
I am seeking a home for 23 volumes of this subject written by Winston Churchill.
The books are in very good condition, red with a gold embossed lion on the front of every book. (I would post a picture but am unable on this forum for some reason)

They were published and bought in the 70's.
I tried to donate them to a local historian friend so that he could re sell them and it would then help him finance the good work he was doing. Sadly he declined the offer.

I need to find an appropriate home to donate them to, as it's a total waste that they just sit here unused.

But they are not going to just anyone that fancies them. I must feel comfortable that they will be well used and appreciated.

Your advice I would appreciate.

10th Feb 2015, 17:55
I hate to sound a note of pessimism but when my father died about 12 years ago, he had a large collection of books acquired over many years, mostly on military history and world exploration, including Churchill's History of the English Speaking Peoples.

Sadly it proved impossible, despite contacting various booksellers and auctioneers, to find anyone who wanted them even as a donation. We had various 'barrow boys' offering to clear deceased effects as a job lot and I was told that books would probably end up being pulped, whilst furniture and kitchen items would have gone to Romania to help the poor. The latter I was happy with, but I could not stomach the idea of his books being pulped.

Little by little we found people to give them to, my siblings and I kept some, but it was a hard task and I fear that with the passage of time, it may be harder now than than.

Disposing of my mother's collection of art and classical literature was even more of a headache, particularly as it was stuff with which I, as a philistine, had no empathy.

I wish you luck.

By the way Winston Churchill died in 1965 so I'm not sure about your publication date. I would think more like the late 1950s.

10th Feb 2015, 18:30
First published (in 4 volumes) 1956-58:


victor tango
11th Feb 2015, 07:38
Thanks for your replies chaps, albeit sad news.

Apologies but delete published from my original.

It says in the front flyleaf of each volume;

Based on the text of 'A History of the English Speaking Peoples' By Sir Winston published by Cassell.
Editorial board: Sir Mortimer Wheeler, Hugh Trevor Roper and A J P Taylor.

BPC Publishing 1969, 1971

Sad to think of the waste, and that the young folk would probably prefer to go out and buy a new iphone:ugh:

11th Feb 2015, 08:10
Sad but true. To echo Cape's experience, we have an annual Book Fair here sponsored by Rotary and each year they request book donations, but...

Items that will be refused include magazines, cassettes, vinyl records and encyclopedias of any description.

Incredibly, most of what isn't sold - gets pulped.

Brian 48nav
11th Feb 2015, 08:46
That's spooky reading your post as I packed my 23 volumes yesterday evening prior to storing.

Mine are as you describe your set, new in the 70s ( but obviously not the original publication date ) and bought from the old W H Smith book club, Literary Guild.

I expect when I die they will end up going in a skip!

11th Feb 2015, 11:10
Was that not the work for which WSC received the Nobel Prize for Literature

11th Feb 2015, 12:21
Pleb that I am, I bought the paperback version of the DaveReidUK picture.

But I at least read it, and I still have it and use it for reference.

What I do wonder about the future of are some 1st edition Ian Fleming novels, that I bought simply as reading material all those years ago.

11th Feb 2015, 12:53
I have heard of successes in donating books to schools; primarily - but not exclusively - in the private sector.

11th Feb 2015, 15:36
I would add to the sad story of trying to find homes for books. My mother died in 2013 and we asked a firm to "clear" the house, which they did. The items went to auction and we got 60 pounds back, after their expenses. For a lifetime! At least I thought her books would be of use to someone, but no, they all went into a skip. "You can't give them away" I was told.

I had a large collection of medical books and even had several refusals when I tried to give them away, until finally my university history department agreed to take them. When I see my grandchildren glued to their tablets and i-phones, I despair!


victor tango
11th Feb 2015, 17:35
OK this generation can Google anything and get the answer in seconds. Very impressive one must admit.

But is it a generation thing that to own nicely bound books and feel them or even smell them is part of the experience of life.

Googling feels like it somehow demeans the experience, like a fast food outlet.:rolleyes:

I will stop there until someone from Christies Auction House wake up and give me a call:rolleyes:

11th Feb 2015, 20:45
VT, I'm slightly confused by your "23 volumes" - my copy is also four volumes, printed, 1990/copywrite 1958.

But as to the value, I did a quick search on Amazon and found hardcopy (used) as low as $0.37 :ugh:

11th Feb 2015, 22:52
"The final form of Purnell's pioneering and mammoth partwork, the result of several years of preparation, with numerous contributors working to the editorial board comprising Mortimer Wheeler, Hugh Trevor-Roper and A.J.P. Tayor - three of the most eminent historians of the period. The partwork was issued originally in 112 weekly parts intended to be housed in seven optional and separately issued branded binders. Consequently it required considerable time, effort and motivation to acquire and bind a complete set. This final version is arguably the most accessible edition, comprising twenty-three compact and rather more manageable volumes."


A history of the english - speaking peoples. based on the text of 'a history of the english - speaking peoples' by sir winston churchill published by cassell. [purnell collected edition]. complete set in publisher's cloth (http://en.maremagnum.com/rare-books/a-history-of-the-english-speaking-peoples-based-on-the-text/138015889)

12th Feb 2015, 00:23
Similar story on the other side of the world I.garey. I have no doubt that my collection of books and model aircraft and logbooks will end up in a skip that my kids will hire just like I had to do for my parents stuff. Maybe a life well lived can be measured in terms of a standard unit of skip?

12th Feb 2015, 08:47
I too have four volumes by the Educational Book Co 1956 sitting in my book case and I have to admit I have never got around to reading them and probably never will and no doubt they will be pulped one day.

Don't think victor tango can be too fussy as to who might want his, more like pay someone to take them!

12th Feb 2015, 09:18
You try and get rid of a set of golf clubs. No chance; they joined the pile at the charity shop.

12th Feb 2015, 13:40
apparently reason for R&A doing deal with Sky (which I deplore) was to put more money into promoting golf at grass roots, which is in decline. And I am not a golfer, just like watching the big matches on TV

victor tango
12th Feb 2015, 16:21
Davereid re yr editions are the same as mine.

13th Feb 2015, 10:19
VT, sir, I would be grateful if you would consider sending them to me. I will pay postage to Australia, which may be 100 quid, but I would enjoy them.

I have read many of Churchill's wartime recollections, which were well balanced by reading CIGS Lord Alanbrookes biography and Step by Step by Arthur Bryant : reading these together is like being in the War Room and seeing the glances exchanged between the drivers of Britain's war effort. Churchill is always generous in his later recollections of circumstances which would drive anybody to their limit. Even in the worst circumstances, it was still an adventure. No doubt if the Nazis had won he would have been shot with cognac in hand.

Churchill, in misguided youth, also wrote an abysmal novel, 'Savrola', which I found in a second hand shop. It was the most sublime gift, because it was a rare book, which I promptly swapped with an antiquarian for a full set of Macaulays 'History of England', an act which I think both authors would approve of.

I did these things in my twenties, so don't despair of the young. I am in my forties now, but still enjoy reading. The anglosphere which was such a cherished notion of Churchill's is slightly out of favour now, but like a comet, it will return, a bright and splendorous thing. In the first instance, find the least likely youth, press one volume in their hand, and if they come back for more, you have found a good home for the books. Maybe leave 23 volumes at 23 different bus stops, one of them will change someone's life.

If all else fails sent them to the colonies.

13th Feb 2015, 10:30
On the topic of old books that may end up in skips I am trying to reconstruct engineering datasets for British strip steel construction techniques 1925-35. This covers designs such as metal Siskins, Bristol Bulldogs, Hart family, Westland Wapiti and other forgotten inerwar types. JJ Habershons was a steel mill that also produced this strip material. I would be grateful for any books or literature, however obscure, on this topic or interwar aircraft construction techniques or materials.

Description of the work is here :

Hart Hind Bulldog Wapiti Atlas Siskin Hurricane & others steel testing (http://forum.keypublishing.com/showthread.php?129241-Hart-Hind-Bulldog-Wapiti-Atlas-Siskin-Hurricane-amp-others-steel-testing&highlight=)

15th Feb 2022, 23:44
VT: It's been many years since this post so you likely no longer have this set of books. But, if you still have them, consider sending them to me. I will pay postage to the US.
My husband is an avid fan of Churchill's way of writing and has read many of his wartime books. We have been looking for this particular set that contains additional maps and other material not included in other versions.
We haven't been able to find it for sale anywhere. If it's gone, please let me know if you have any idea where it is sold.
Thank you.

16th Feb 2022, 19:55
When my father died in 2001, I had no takers for his aircraft books. My father had been serving RAF in WWII and had a fair collection. I got a specialist in aviation books and he cherry picked a dozen, no more.

My mother died about five years ago and her books were more obscure and, again, charity shops not much interested as they were overflowing with books. I am now downsizing and expect problems in finding homes for the books I have not read in decades and won't read again. I want to deal with this, rather than leaving it to my family when I go West.

example: I have a top quality copy of Swift, Silent, Superb and contacted the owner of 'VCtenderness'. No takers. If anyone wants to buy - PM me!

17th Feb 2022, 17:00
The answer is to set up your own bookshop - or do so on Ebay................ I quite fancy pottering around all day telling people I won't sell them a book

17th Feb 2022, 19:17
Abut ten years ago I visited a second-hand bookshop to collect a book I had bought from their online advert (I think it was abebooks).
The bookshop was stopping as a shop and continuing online only.
The owner told me for every 1000 books online they would have about one enquiry a day.(this was about ten years ago)
I often wonder what sort of living could be made entering details of 1000s of books online and then packing and posting ...

India Four Two
17th Feb 2022, 19:58
VT: It's been many years since this post so you likely no longer have this set of books.


victor tango died in December 2015. He was a friend of mine and if you'd like, I can make inquiries as to whether his books are still available.

PS victor tango and I, and several other PPRuNers, participated in Sailonline, an online yacht racing game. One of the annual races is a Christmas to Christmas race and Terry (victor tango) had registered for the 2015 race, but his yacht britvisc didn't start. We subsequently discovered that he had died:

As a tribute to Terry, we organized a team to sail Terry's yacht in one last race:

It was a lot of fun, sailing britvisc in shifts (we had team members all around the world, so night shifts were not required), as well as our own yachts. At the end of the race, the memorial fleet hove-to southeast of the New York finish line and then sailed in line astern behind britvisc to the finish. A very fitting tribute to a nice guy.

https://cimg4.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune.org-vbulletin/1782x1148/screen_shot_2022_02_17_at_2_23_43_pm_229f827c70261cd28265d6b 3f3f9efefbc899975.png

18th Feb 2022, 00:47
Thanks for telling us, India Four Two.
I once tried selling items on eBay and found the process tedious for very little reward. Mostly, items go to the local Hospice shop (I might need them one day!)