A reader asks: “Who published the first compilation of Winston Churchill’s wit and wisdom, and when?” It was Colin Coote, in 1947—a dear man devoted to the heroic memory. My quotations book Churchill by Himself is dedicated in part to him.
Colin Reith Coote
Sir Colin (1893-1979) was a British journalist and Liberal politician. For fourteen years he was editor of the Daily Telegraph. There he came to know and admire Churchill. Shortly after World War II, he thought to compile a book of Churchillisms, annotated to validate each entry. He wrote for permission, and received a kind and revelatory reply, which provided Churchill’s view of his literary assigns:
“Two days earlier I had been a Minister of the Crown, red box and all. Now I was reduced to the position of a messenger between my wife and Winston Churchill, each of whom burst into tears on receipt of a message from the other.” —Harold Wilson
The Hillsdale College Churchill Project is rapidly completing final volumes of Winston S. Churchill, the official biography. (The name is somewhat of a misnomer; no one has ever censored any material.) Suitably, all thirty-one volumes will be complete by June 2019: the 75th Anniversary of D-Day. It will be fifty-six years since Randolph Churchill and his “Young Gentlemen” including Martin Gilbert began their work.…