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. —Deadline.com
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.