On the Irish statesman and philosopher (1729-1797) Churchill had much to say.
I’d like to congratulate you on your wonderful book Churchill By Himself, but I could not find any Churchill comments on Burke in the index. I thought Burke deserved a mention, but it’s your book, so it’s your call (and may I add, it has been one of the best treasures that has ever landed on my lap!) –V.T., UK
Thanks for the kind words. Unfortunately the index is the worst feature of the book–completely inadequate, as I tirelessly remind the publishers. We are hoping for a future e-book with a search feature after the next edition appears from the Ebury Press in autumn 2012.
Despite the index’s silence, there are four Churchill entries on Edmund Burke:
1897, re the dead in battle:
Looking at these shapeless forms, confined in a regulation blanket, the pride of race, the pomp of empire, the glory of war appeared but the faint and unsubstantial fabric of a dream; and I could not help realising with Burke: “What shadows we are and what shadows we pursue.”—The Story of the Malakand Field Force (1898)
1939, on a call for his dismissal from Parliament:
Because half-a-dozen grasshoppers under a fern make the field ring with their importunate chink, whilst thousands of great cattle repose beneath the shadow of the British oak, chew the cud and are silent, pray do not imagine that those who make the noise are the only inhabitants of the field, that of course they are many in number; or that, after all, they are other than the little shrivelled, meagre, hopping, though loud and troublesome insects of the hour. —WSC to Colin Thornton-Kemsley
(Churchill was quoting Burke to the chairman of the Chigwell Conservative Association, who had campaigned to dismiss Churchill as an MP for his anti-Chamberlain rhetoric. When WSC became Prime Minister, Thornton-Kemsley sent him his apologies. Churchill replied, “As for me, the past is dead.”)
Continued in Part 2…