Churchill Nonsense, Parts #1462-64

Churchill Nonsense, Parts #1462-64

Nonsense #1462: Yachts

The Irish nov­el­ist George Moore orig­i­nat­ed the tale that Sir Winston’s moth­er Jen­nie, Lady Ran­dolph Churchill, slept with 200 men. Assum­ing she did so, say, between ages 20 and 60, she aver­aged five per year, a ten-week aver­age affair (if she had them one at a time, with a cou­ple days’ break in between). Which is a lot of lovers to main­tain, giv­en the state of Vic­to­ri­an and Edwar­dian locomotion.

How­ev­er ridicu­lous, the claim stuck, and is reg­u­lar­ly trot­ted out and embell­ished on a medi­um poor Jen­nie nev­er antic­i­pat­ed: the Inter­net. It occurs so often because it’s so easy to rat­tle off, and pruri­ent enough to raise a website’s Google Ana­lyt­ics—nev­er mind whether it is even feasible.

Enchantress, Rosaura and Christina

I pon­dered the Jen­nie canard (Chap­ter 1 in my next book) when Google Alerts pro­duced a ver­i­ta­ble tri­fec­ta of non­sense in today’s install­ment of Churchill ref­er­ences on the Inter­net. (It’s not Google’s fault; they just crawl the web and the job is done by “bots.”)

You can now buy Win­ston Churchill’s lux­u­ry yacht. If you’ve got an extra $2.1 mil­lion, you can buy a part of his­to­ry and sail off into the sun­set. Win­ston Churchill’s 127-foot, 90-year-old yacht Ama­zone is for sale. The yacht is com­posed of three decks that can sleep up to 12 peo­ple, and was built by England’s Thorny­croft Ship­yard in 1936, before he became the UK’s Prime Min­is­ter. —Fox News

There were three notable yachts in Churchill’s 90-year sto­ry. One was HMS Enchantress, the Admi­ral­ty yacht. There he whiled away many days at sea when First Lord of the Admi­ral­ty (1911-15). She was sold for scrap in 1935. The sec­ond was Rosaura, owned by his friend Wal­ter Guin­ness, Lord Moyne. On her the Churchills made sev­er­al voy­ages in the 1920s and 1930s. The third is Aris­to­tle Onas­sis’ Christi­na. She famous­ly host­ed Churchill on sev­en cruis­es between 1958 and 1962, and is still afloat, in the char­ter business.

Churchill nev­er ordered or owned a yacht, in 1936 or at any oth­er time. His finances were too fraught even to con­sid­er one. There is no trace of any ves­sel named Ama­zone in the Churchill Archives, Churchill Papers or files plumbed by author David Lough in his book on Churchill’s finances, No More Champagne.

Nonsense #1463: Success quotes

Wis­dom To Live By. Quotes of the Day: British Prime Min­is­ter Win­ston Churchill On Dri­ve: “Suc­cess is the abil­i­ty to go from one fail­ure to anoth­er with no loss of enthu­si­asm.” —Investor’s Busi­ness Daily

How do these non­sense sto­ries, so often shown to be false, con­tin­ue to bedi­zen the Inter­net, like Lady Randolph’s lovers? If only I had the reach of Investor’s Busi­ness Dai­ly. Read “Churchill’s Phoney ‘Suc­cess’ Quotes” by click­ing here.

Nonsense #1464: The Paladin

Peter Chel­som Set to Helm WW2 Assas­sin Tale The Pal­adin. Set dur­ing the dark­est days of the war, The Pal­adin tells the incred­i­ble true sto­ry of how Win­ston Churchill orches­trat­ed a mon­u­men­tal shift in the war through a top-secret pro­gram where he turned a 15-year-old boy into one of England’s dead­liest assas­sins. —

Bri­an Garfield wrote a won­der­ful, “unput­down­able” yarn that is utter­ly fic­ti­tious (which doesn’t mean you shouldn’t read it; it’s a grip­ping yarn). The odd thing about this announce­ment is that they first call it “the incred­i­ble true sto­ry,” and then tell us it is “based on Bri­an Garfield’s his­tor­i­cal nov­el.” Say what?

The same Google Alert also deliv­ers a death notice for 96-year-old Christi­na Mor­ri­son, who claimed that she worked as a code­break­er in White­hall dur­ing WW2, and once encoun­tered a late-night work­er, the Prime Min­is­ter, in his pyjamas.

I have no rea­son to doubt the lady, and I hope she at least told the truth. Oth­er­wise Google Alerts has set a new one-day record for the most goofy Churchillian fables in one post.

One thought on “Churchill Nonsense, Parts #1462-64

  1. I remem­ber my late father would say -when he heard sala­cious tales about this celebri­ty or that politi­cian- that “I don’t real­ly know -I wasn’t there with my cam­era.” In oth­er words, rumors do not sig­ni­fy rock­hard evi­dence. I have always read that Lady Ran­dolph Churchill was 1) very beau­ti­ful 2) some­what promis­cu­ous (though not by today’s stan­dards. Any oth­er upping of the ante is, real­ly, an attack on WSC him­self. Ulti­mate­ly, it is a sly way of mak­ing peo­ple won­der if he was legit­i­mate. There­fore, we should dis­miss such ad hominem attacks for what they are: wild, unsub­stan­ti­at­ed rumors. One one last point I read the Christi­na Mor­ri­son obit­u­ary. #1 she did know Churchill and would have had a chance, per­haps, to catch him in his paja­mas. As I recall, a num­ber of peo­ple have said they saw WSC in bed or in his paja­mas. #2 it is not such a wild tale and there­fore, I would say it is “prob­a­bly” true. Miss Mor­ri­son had no rea­son to make up such a sto­ry and it does no harm to WSC. It only human­izes him.

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