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by Richard M. Langworth

Finest Hour 107

The author (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) is Editor and Founder of The Churchill Centre. This is a sequel to "A Churchill Library on a Budget," which appeared in Finest Hour 42 in 1984.

People often ask my partner, Mark Weber, or me what it costs to own a complete set of Winston Churchill's books. The answer is: between $1500/£1000 and well over $100,000/£67,000, depending on the varieties, editions and conditions desired. Then, if you can find them, add another $100,000 for first editions of the two rare, probable vanity press productions, Mr. Brodrick's Army and For Free Trade. (You might have to add even more; the last Brodrick sale I know of was in 1999 for $75,000/£50,000.) And this is for books not inscribed by our author.

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By Martin Gilbert

Finest Hour 65

When Randolph Churchill began work on his father’s biography in 1961, he had at his disposal an estimated 15 tons of paper — his father’s personal archive, now at Churchill College, Cambridge. In 1962, when I joined his research team, Randolph had already begun to search out yet more material.

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By Keith Alldritt

(London: Hutchinson, 1992)

Reviewed in Finest Hour 77 by James W. Muller


Churchill’s biographers have never over­looked his books, finding in them a source as indispensable as it is irresistible. Yet they are apter to plunder them for an incident or a turn of phrase than to reflect on his life as a writer. Churchill’s deeds have eclipsed the shelf full of books he wrote, which most biographers treat simply as a lucrative diversion from politics. Though William Manchester begins his second volume of biography (“The Last Lion,” 1988) with an evocative description of Churchill’s manner of writing at Chartwell in the 1930s, and the official biography (particularly in its companion volumes) affords glimpses of Churchill’s literary life that are nowhere else available, fuller accounts are few. Maurice Ashley’s Churchill as Historian (1968) and Manfred Weidhorn’s Sword and Pen: A Survey of the Writings of Sir Winston Churchill (1974) are the best general studies, which have now been joined by Frederick Woods’ Artillery of Words: The Writings of Sir Winston Churchill (1992) and this fine new book by Keith Alldritt.

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