Category: Literary

“A Sun that Never Sets”: Churchill’s Autobiography, “My Early Life”

“A Sun that Never Sets”: Churchill’s Autobiography, “My Early Life”

Win­ston S. Churchill, My Ear­ly Life: A Rov­ing Com­mis­sion. (Lon­don: Thorn­ton But­ter­worth, 1930; New York: Scrib­n­ers, 1930.) Numer­ous reprints and edi­tions since, includ­ing e-books. Excerpt­ed from the Hills­dale Col­lege Churchill Project. For the full arti­cle, click here.

Connoisseur’s Guide

My Ear­ly Life appeared a year before the last vol­ume of The World Cri­sis. The sub­ti­tle, “A Rov­ing Com­mis­sion,” is from the first chap­ter of Churchill’s Ian Hamilton’s March. It seems he took it from an ear­li­er nov­el by G.A. Hen­ty, one of his favorite authors. The titles changed places in the first Amer­i­can edi­tion.

A won­der­ful treat is in store in this most approach­able of Churchill’s books. Harold Nicol­son in his 1930 review likened My Ear­ly Life to “a beaker of cham­pagne.” His bub­bly expres­sion is not shy of the mark.…

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Blood, Toil, Tears and Sweat: Origins of a Famous Phrase

Blood, Toil, Tears and Sweat: Origins of a Famous Phrase

Though he gave per­ma­nent life to blood, toil, tears and sweat, Churchill’s best-remem­bered words did not orig­i­nate with him. Sim­i­lar expres­sions date very far back. (Excerpt­ed from my essay for the Hills­dale Col­lege Churchill Project. To read the full arti­cle, click here.)

Quo­ta­tions schol­ar Ralph Keyes writes:

Cicero and Livy wrote of  “sweat and blood.” A 1611 John Donne poem includ­ed the lines “That ‘tis in vaine to dew, or mol­li­fie / It with thy Tear­es, or Sweat, or Bloud.” More than two cen­turies lat­er, Byron wrote, “Year after year they vot­ed cent per cent / Blood, sweat, and tear-wrung millions—why?—for rent!” In his 1888 play Smith, Scot­tish poet-play­wright John David­son wrote of “Blood – sweats and tears, and hag­gard, home­less lives.” By 1939, a Lady Tegart report­ed in a mag­a­zine arti­cle that Jew­ish com­mu­nal colonies in Pales­tine were “built on a foun­da­tion of blood, sweat, and tears”….Since this phrase was obvi­ous­ly famil­iar when Churchill gave his mem­o­rable speech the fol­low­ing year, even though he rearranged the words and added “toil” for good mea­sure, our ears and our mem­o­ry quick­ly returned them to the more famil­iar form.…

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How Churchill Saw the Future: Prescient Essays, 1924-1931

How Churchill Saw the Future: Prescient Essays, 1924-1931

Future Shock

In four essays in his 1932 book Thoughts and Adven­tures (tak­en from ear­li­er writ­ings), Churchill con­tem­plat­ed the future. He iden­ti­fied future trends which would affect the evo­lu­tion of democ­ra­cy, con­sti­tu­tion­al gov­ern­ment, and the evo­lu­tion of soci­ety. Those essays were remark­ably pre­scient. More­over, they offer reflec­tions upon issues as promi­nent today as they were eight decades ago. Excerpt­ed from the Hills­dale Col­lege Churchill Project. To read the com­plete arti­cle click here.

“The rel­e­vance of the life of Win­ston Churchill to our time is appar­ent in the news­pa­per any day,” writes Hills­dale Col­lege Pres­i­dent Dr.…

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