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Finest Hour 133

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Winston Churchill at Seattle Churchill Lecture. WSC’s and Roosevelt’s Secret Mission to Singapore. Chicago Churchill Conference. Young Spencer Churchill at Harrow School (Part 1). New Cohen Bibliography. Editorial: Issues Over “Issues.” Chartwell Menu Holders. Cover: Bronze bust of WSC by Margarita Hernandez.

Finest Hour 133, Winter 2006-07

Page 24

By Philip and Susan Larson

Churchill was well received by the city of Chicago on all three of his visits, and fondly noted in local newspapers of the day. Churchill for his part avowed "there is a splendor in Chicago and a life thrust that is all its own"



Several weeks before the opening of the Chicago conference, Churchillians were invited to the City Council and office of Mayor Richard M. Daley for the presentation of a Churchill Proclamation, recognizing the conference's historical significance and officially welcoming The Churchill Centre and its members, as matters of public record.

Nearly two hundred Churchillians gathered along the shore of Lake Michigan to learn more of Churchill's relationship with the city through his three visits in 1901, 1929 and 1932. His travels to Chicago, and America at large, are a snapshot of his maturation as a statesman and world leader. The conference theme, "Churchill in the Land of Lincoln," embodied the conference focus.

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Finest Hour 133, Winter 2006-07

Page 14

By Michael McMenamin



125 YEARS AGO:

Winter 1881-82 • Age 7

"Love and a great many kisses."


While staying at Blenheim in January, Winston wrote his first known letter to his mother: "My dear Mamma, I hope you are quite well I thank you very very much for the beautiful presents those Soldiers and Flags and Castle they are so nice it was so kind of you and dear Papa I send you my love and a great many kisses. Your loving Winston."

A few months later, his father Lord Randolph was taken ill and Winston wrote to him: "My dear Papa, I hope you are getting better. I am enjoying myself very much. I find a lot of primroses every day. I bought a basket to put them in. I saw three little Indian children on Saturday, who came to see the house. Best love to you and dear Mamma. I am, Yr loving son, Winston."

So long ago....

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Finest Hour 133, Winter 2006-07

Page 11



Congratulations to Churchill Centre academic 'adviser and frequent speaker Dr. David Jablonsky on his forthcoming book, War by Land, Sea and Air: Dwight Eisenhower and the Concept of Unified Commands (Free Press), which undoubtedly will have many wise observations on Winston Churchill.

***

Danielle Lloyd, the reigning Miss Great Britain and girlfriend of soccer player Teddy Sheringham, was prepped by her boyfriend for an appearance on the BBC television show, "Test the Nation." Sheringham asked her, "Who was Winston Churchill: a rapper, U.S. President, Prime Minister, or King?" Replied Lloyd, "Wasn't he the first black president of America? There's a statue of him near me that's black."

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Finest Hour 133, Winter 2006-07

Page 41

By Christopher Bell

TOTAL IMMERSION in the Cohen Bibliography of Churchill's works suggests it may rank with the Complete Speeches and Collected Essays in its service to Churchiif scholarship.

Bibliography of the Writings of Sir Winston Churchill
, by Ronald I. Cohen. London: Continuum, 3 vols., 2184 pages, advance price $990, member price $800. About 100 copies are left at this writing.




When Ronald Cohen announced in Finest Hour 51, Spring 1986, that he was preparing an entirely new Churchill bibliography, he had already been researching the subject for nearly five years. If he had known then that his Bibliography of the Writings of Sir Winston Churchill would not be published for another twenty years, he might have had second thoughts about the wisdom of undertaking this task. Now that the work is published, in three volumes totaling 2183 pages, the reasons for the delay are clear: Cohen was determined to give Sir Winston Churchill the bibliography he deserved.

Sir Martin Gilbert describes the book in his foreword as "a high point —and surely a peak—of Churchill bibliographic research...in every way the Mount Everest of the subject."

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Finest Hour 133, Winter 2006-07

Page 38

Boston Baked Churchill, by Mike Ryan. Mansfield, Mass.: Charles River Press, 264 pages softbound. Available from www.charlesriverpress.com, $4.49.



This sprightly historical novel uniquely involves the two Winston Churchills (see "That Other Winston Churchill," FH 106) during their Boston meeting in 1901, who enjoy an adventure of derring-do against Irish Fenian terrorists intent on murdering English Winston and blowing up the USS Constitution.

The hero, Irish probation officer "Cootch" Connolly, learns of the plot and enlists the help of a Jewish girl, Rebekah Hurwitz, with whom he falls madly in love, engendering dubious reactions from her family and his: "Jews weren't always viewed favorably by the Irish....All these thoughts invaded my brain. I hadn't been haunted by such a woman in my entire life...."

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Finest Hour 133, Winter 2006-07

Page 39

By Richard M. Langworth

Death at Blenheim Palace, by Robin Paige. New York: Berkley Crime Books, 312 pages hardbound, $23.95, $6.99 from Amazon.com.



Robin Paige is a pseudonym for a husband-and-wife writing team who produce a series of cookie-cutter whodunnits: Death in Hyde Park...Glamis Castle... Dartmoor... Whitechapel, etc. As the titles suggest, their novels occur in Britain, and they have a fair if exaggerated and somewhat shopworn view of British life in the early 20th century. They also know very little about Winston Churchill.

The possibly eponymous protagonists are Charles and Kate Sheridan, invited by the Marlboroughs to Blenheim because Kate is working on a book about an old scandal. The ancient palace of Marlborough Hall, said to have stood here in 1154, was the scene of a tryst between the King Henry II and his teen-age flame Rosamund, carried out under the very nose of Henry's Queen, Eleanor of Aquitaine. The story is loosely based on folklore: "Fair Rosamund" was the legendary mistress of Henry, who hid in a mysterious hunting lodge the King built for her, accessible only by a labyrinth ("Rosamund's Bower"). Alas, goes the story, Henry's scheme was defeated: he found his lover poisoned.

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Finest Hour 133, Winter 2006-07

Page 40

By John Ramsden

Churchill Remembered. Two-CD set, narrated by Tim PigottSmith. BBC Audio, available from Amazon.co.uk for £6-12. Also downloadable for £9 at http://xrl.us/syii.



Few radio archives have deeper resources than the BBC, with many of its recordings going back to the earliest broadcasting days in the 1920s. The Corporation recently realised the immense value of its recordings by launching a successful series of musical and then spoken-word publications. One of Britain's finest classical actors, Tim Pigott-Smith (Brendan Bracken in BBC's The Wilderness Years TV series) narrates the latter, linking voices from the time on events that they witnessed. The 1940s volume of that series is in itself of great interest to FH readers.

As a spin-off from that successful oral history, and again with Pigott-Smith as narrator, the BBC has produced an oral life of Churchill told at considerable length, mainly through the reminiscences of people who knew him. Written and researched by Mark Jones, it provides a sensible, informed and detached view of Churchill's life through 1955; I noted only a couple of trivial factual errors (such as the date of the election in 1906—a very common student error, since unusually the government changed a month before the election, rather than afterwards as more usual). But these are slips which don't seriously detract from the piece as a whole. The CDs' real strength is, on the other hand, a quite fascinating array of personal reminiscences, ranging from the army sergeant who tells how as a young cavalryman Winston looked after his horse in India in 1897 (recorded 1955), to staff members like John Colville, Ian Jacob and Anthony Montague Browne describing WSC's working methods during and after his finest hour.

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Finest Hour 133, Winter 2006-07

Page 38

By Robert A. Courts

Hostages to Fortune: Winston Churchill and the loss of the Prince of Wales and Repulse, by Arthur Nicholson. Sutton Publishing, 234 pages, illustrated, $34.95. Available from Amazon.com at $26.56.



It seems almost de rigueur that new books dealing with important aspects of the Second World War have to be subtitled Winston Churchill and... .As Prime Minister, Churchill could hardly complain, but this book's subtitle really ought to be (for the sake of accuracy if not for publishing purposes) Churchill Pound, Phillips and the Loss of the Prince of Wales and Repulse.

The book takes a contained and structured approach to the story: dealing with the course of the tragedy first chronologically, dealing with each important event in self-contained blocks, before concluding that "in the end, it is Winston Churchill who should shoulder most of the blame." Yet if there is one thing that this book's methodical approach shows, it is that the reasons for the loss of the two ships were so manifold that such a conclusion is misleading.

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Finest Hour 133, Winter 2006-07

Page 39

By Mike Cook

Rules, Britannia, by Toni Summers Hargis. New York: St. Martin's/Dunne, 208 pages, hardbound, $23.95. Member price $19.15. Preview at: www.rulesbritannia.com.



There even are places where English completely disappears. In America they haven't used it for years." —Henry Higgins, My Fair Lady.

Most of us who cherish things British are aware that there are major differences in the way the English and Americans speak the language. For car people there are substitutes like "spanner" for "wrench" and "wing" for "fender." However, there are many more serious differences. Using a word or phrase incorrectly in Britain could cause you to be laughed at or might get you a punch in the nose!

Toni Hargis, a native of England who moved to the States in 1990, evidently spent quite a while being either mystified or embarrassed by what her new acquaintances were saying. At the same time, she was baffled when some of her statements were greeted with annoyance or howls of laughter. On trips home she began listening to what Americans found confusing in the UK and what Yank tourists said and did that the British couldn't comprehend.

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Finest Hour 133, Winter 2006-07

Page 37

By Manfred Weidhorn

Winston Churchill's Imagination, by Paul K. Alkon. Lewisburg, Pennsylvania: Bucknell University Press, 268 pages, $55, member price $44.



In the initial stage of a scholarly project, one reads laboriously all available sources and highlights the key passages. When the subject is the ambidextrous Churchill, a division of labor takes place: Historians single out sentences that shed light on events and motives, and literary scholars focus on sentences that reflect the manner of expression. Material that is not highlighted by either type of researcher tends to be dismissed as trivial.

It is Professor Alkon's fine idea to apply to Churchill the idea that, when dealing with outstanding personages, nothing is trivial. The result is a book that, while usually steering away from standard Churchillian topics, manages to be interesting nonetheless by taking the reader into the byways and crannies of Churchill's capacious mind.

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