Churchill was a keen collector of butterflies in India, but in later life he couldn't bear to kill them or even keep them captive in his chrysalis house at Chartwell. Strolling by the cage on one of his walks, he left the screening open. Secretary Grace Hamblin asked, did he do that on purpose. Churchill replied, "I can't bear this captivity any longer."
Gary Stiles's new book, "Churchill and Punch," captures their long relationship during an unprecedented career. The best artists of their time represented Punch’s often querulous, at times hilarious, sometimes wry, yet almost always respectful attitude toward Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill. In these pages, Gary Stiles and those artists renew those echoes and memories for future generations.
"At the bottom of all the tributes paid to democracy is the little man, walking into the little booth, with a little pencil, making a little cross on a little bit of paper—no amount of rhetoric or voluminous discussion can possibly diminish the overwhelming importance of that point."
Reilly considered Churchill the only useful British politician in the anti-Bolshevik cause. Shortly before his death he told a friend: “Only one man is really important, and that is the irrepressible Marlborough [WSC]. I have always remained on good terms with him…. His ear would always be open to something sound.”
Picture Stevens, trailing a silk scarf, driving a very loud open sports car with what the British call “assurance.” Picture an army of gendarmerie, including aircraft. Failing to catch him, they block the road ahead. Now picture the nearest constable (seven feet tall as they all are). Jerking his thumb at the Excalibur’s sartorially splendid driver, he shouts: YOU—OUT! Kip paid his fine. It was substantial.
In 1992 Michael Wybrow and I spent a day in the Chartwell library. Security was less of a concern then, and the administrator, Jeane Broome, kindly let us examine books closely. We were able to survey all the shelves and even to open (very carefully!) the odd volume. We did not attempt an inventory, but did learn the fate of many volumes.