MILLIGAN, Spike. Adolf Hitler My Part in his Downfall. London: Michael Joseph, 1971.
8vo., original black publisher's boards, lettered in gilt to spine; original pictorial dust wrapper; pp. [iv], 146, [ii]; some spotting to edges of text block; previous gift inscriptions to front and rear endpapers (including one from the author); bookseller's sticker to front paste down; p. 3-12 with a little corner crease; a very good copy in price clipped wrapper, a little shelf worn and nicked to head and foot of spine; some light foxing to inner flaps; still very good.
First edition, third impression, inscribed by the author to ffep: "To Celia - from Spike Milligan and Phillip II I guess".
The first volume of Milligan's war memoirs. Although originally intended as a trilogy, the series ended up spread across seven books, and was twenty-five years in the making - as mentioned on the dust jacket: "the end of the war took Mr Milligan completely by surprise. He was in the bath when it happened and noticed very little difference 'twixt war and peace until, passing the Albert Hall one day, he heard what he thought was the 8th Army, he was told that it was in fact a Reunion, and there and then, on the steps of the Albert Memorial, he started to write this book." Although speckled with his normal humour, the memoir is also incredibly poignant, as Milligan lost a number of friends during the war and so "no matter how funny I tried to make this book, that will always be at the back of my mind: but, were they alive today, they would have been first to join in the laughter, and that laughter was, I'm sure, the key to victory."
The following year, the book was made into a film produced by Gregory Smith and directed by Norman Cohen. It stared Jim Dale as the young Spike, Arthur Lowe and Bill Maynard, and Milligan also made a cameo appearance as his own father.