Autumn 1936 (Age 62)

While in France Churchill began work on a series of articles on “Great Events of Our Time” which would eventually appear in the News of the World (Woods C337).

Although he publicly maintained neutrality on the Spanish Civil War, he wrote Clementine, “I am thankful the Spanish Nationalists are making progress … better for the safety of all if the Communists are crushed.”

After observing the French army he commented, “The officers of the French army are impressive…. One feels the strength of the nation resides in its army.” He rejected the growing view that Europe must go either fascist or communist. “Between the doctrines of Comrade Trotsky and those of Dr. Goebbels there ought to be room for you and me, and a few others, to cultivate opinions of our own.”

His speeches received close attention both at home and abroad and his stature within the Conservative Party increased, as many saw him the logical choice for Prime Minister in a crisis. He was also observed closely by the Germans. who accused him of favouring their “encirclement and oppression.”

Literary and domestic concerns vied with politics for his attention. While complimenting him on the publication of volume three of Marlborough (Woods A40), friends commiserated on the distress felt by Winston and Clementine over the elopement of their daughter Sarah with the concert pianist, Victor Oliver.

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