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Finest Hour 144

LEADING CHURCHILL MYTHS: FINEST HOUR 144, AUTUMN 2009

BY RICHARD M. LANGWORTH AND WARREN F. KIMBALL

For texts of supporting documents (Paul-Henri Spaak memoirs; Professor Kimball's Roosevelt and Churchill: Their Complete Correspondence (Princeton, 1984), please email the editor, or visit our website. Finest Hour regularly skewers fictions, fairy tales and tall stories. For the list see FH 140: 20, or visit the web address above.

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FINEST HOUR 144, AUTUMN 2009

BY FRED GLUECKSTEIN

Mr. Glueckstein, a Maryland writer, is a frequent contributor to FH.

ABSTRACT
"I first came to England sixteen years ago....I admired your history, doubted your future, and suspected that the historians had merely agreed upon a myth. But always there was something that escaped me. Always there remained in the back of a youthful and undisciplined mind the suspicion that I might be wrong." —EDWARD R. MURROW, "A REPORTER REMEMBERS," BBC BROADCAST, 1946[1]

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FINEST HOUR 144, AUTUMN 2009

BY HERBERT VIVIAN

Herbert Vivian (1865-1940) wrote prolifically on politics, travel and war for half a century, and lived to see Churchill reach the summit he had predicted for him. Vivian published this remarkable glimpse of Churchill's character and oratory anonymously in his book, Myself Not Least: Being the Personal Reminiscences of "X" (New York: Henry Holt, 1923; London: Thornton Butterworth, 1925), when it was nearly a quarter century old. Our late cuttings editor, John Frost, found the original, with the author identified, in Pall Mall for April 1905. *The "Fourth Party" was a nickname for young Tory bloods, led by Lord Randolph, bidding to make the Conservative Party more populist.

ABSTRACT
"Sir, I love the acquaintance of young people; because, in the first place, I don't like to think myself growing old. In the next place, young acquaintances must last longer, if they do last; and then, Sir, young men have more virtue than old men; they have more generous sentiments in every respect. I love the young dogs of this age; they have more wit and humour and knowledge of life than we had." —DR. SAMUEL JOHNSON

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FINEST HOUR 144, AUTUMN 2009

BY BRAM STOKER

Abraham "Bram" Stoker (1847-1912) was an Irish novelist, writer and theatre manager, best known for his 1897 horror novel Dracula. Published in the Daily Chronicle, London, 15 January 1908, his interview with Winston Churchill was brought to our attention by Professor David Stafford of Edinburgh University. Reprinted by permission from the 2003 Penguin Edition of Dracula.

ABSTRACT
Bram Stoker published Dracula in 1897. In 1926 Churchill wrote his son: "Have you read The Long Roll, Cease Firing, and Dracula by Bram Stoker? They interested me very much when I read them." WSC's enthusiasm for Dracula caused him to grant Stoker the second interview of his early career, following Herbert Vivian (preceding pages). Together they comprise the first two early interviews we know to exist.

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ACTION THIS DAY: FINEST HOUR 144, AUTUMN 2009

BY MICHAEL MCMENAMIN

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AROUND AND ABOUT: FINEST HOUR 144, AUTUMN 2009

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QUIZ: FINEST HOUR 144, AUTUMN 2009

BY JAMES R. LANCASTER

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WIT AND WISDOM: FINEST HOUR 144, AUTUMN 2009

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DATELINES: FINEST HOUR 144, AUTUMN 2009

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By way of addenda to Finest Hour 143 ("Guarding Greatness," page 32) we reprint the photo of Sir Winston with his Series 1 Land Rover UKE80, which we speculated was the one from which he alighted to despatch the rabbit in Ronald Golding's time (1946-48) as his bodyguard. Not so....this was a later Land Rover, which arrived in 1954.

Our publisher scoured the web to learn that this is the bronze green Land Rover presented to Churchill at Chartwell on his eightieth birthday in 1954. The presenters were Rover's Bob Hudson (Technical Sales Department), Geoffrey Lloyd Dixon (Sales and Service Director), and Col. Maitland (Caffyns, Rover's Kent distributors). A model of this special Land Rover exists, and copies may be found on eBay.

The registration number UKE80 allegedly stood for "United Kingdom, Empire" and eighty years. In December 1999, a colleague of Hudson recalled that when he suggested finding some rough terrain to demonstrate where the Land Rover was able to go, "Sir Winston's response was that he wanted to see terrain where it couldn't go."

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DESPATCH BOX: FINEST HOUR 144, AUTUMN 2009

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