London: Longmans, Green and Co., 1932. Early printing. Original cloth over boards. Octavo. [i]-[viii], 1-289 pages. Very good in a very good, price-clipped dust jacket. Bound in green cloth over boards with spine titled in gilt. Two prior owner bookplates on front pastedown and front free endpaper, respectively. Minor edge wear to book and jacket. Ink spotch to fore edge of textblock.
A collection of alternative histories of famous events and people, proposed by the likes of G. K. Chesterton, Emil Ludwig, Hilaire Belloc, Harold Nicolson, and, of course, Winston Churchill.
Contributions include such speculations as: "If Byron had Become King of Greece," "If Drouet's Cart had Stuck," "If Napoleon had Escaped to America," "If Booth had Missed Lincoln," and "If it had been Discovered in 1930 that Bacon Really Did Write Shakespeare."
Churchill's contribution, titled "If Lee had not Won the Battle of Gettysburg," is a bit more complex than the other entries, as he presents a counter-counter-factual irony, writing from the perspective of an historian in a world where Lee won the Battle of Gettysburg and the Confederacy won the Civil War, and imagining instead the opposite reality. He brilliantly understands and discredits the argument that the South could have remained an independent nation if Lincoln had only let the Confederacy quietly secede.
One of Churchill's few pieces of fiction, and uncommon in such an early printing in a dust jacket.
Ref. WOODS B18.