Questions? Comments? Ask away:
Thank you. I’m reviewing Scott’s book now and will post in a few weeks on our Hillsdale site, https://winstonchurchill.hillsdale.edu/ Search there for “bibliography” and you’ll find a list of books about Churchill with brief reviews back to 1905. This is not up to date pending a new site design, but more recent books are reviewed in depth in the “Books” section. Please subscribe to both sites as I often post only extracts of my Hillsdale articles here. It is our objective ultimately to list every serious Churchill title. The V-12 Century is certainly a great one.
I have just been introduced to your website and am looking forward to many hours of browsing. I wondered if you have had the good fortune to read Churchill At The Gallop by Brough Scott as I can find no reference on the website. It is a perspective on WSC through his association with the horse by one of our foremost horse racing journalists. Incidentally I am also a motor car enthusiast currently driving a Toyota Century. Designed to celebrate Mr Toyota’s 100th birthday in 1967 it has a handbuilt V12 engine and was in production with only minor cosmetic changes from 1967 until 2017. A new body shape was introduced last year.
Your questions are good ones and I will post a fuller reply on my website, but I will try for the nonce to provide a brief answer. I am glad you have my book because it answers your first question on the same page:
He did write something similar in 1897, when he was twenty-three: a note pasted into his copy of the 1874 Annual Register, where he was reviewing political issues to decide which side he would take…. [His] opposition was “on the grounds that it is contrary to natural law and the practice of civilized states[;] that no necessity is shown[;] that only the most undesirable class of women are eager for the right[;] that those women who discharge their duty to the state viz marrying and giving birth to children are adequately represented by their husbands[;] that those who are unmarried can only claim a vote on the ground of property, which claim on democratic principles is inadmissible…” (WSC, “Comments on  Annual Register, 1897,” in The Churchill Documents, vol. 2, Young Soldier 1896-1901, Hillsdale, Mich.: Hillsdale College Press, 2006, 765.)
I go on to say that Churchill’s views on suffrage in 1897 were not only those of most British people, but most British women, including his mother. When the suffrage movement gathered steam, and encouraged by his wife Clementine, he changed his view. There is a vast subtext to this, which I will expand upon later. But as an MP, he never wavered from his view that sex discrimination was wrong.
Concerning Churchill’s letter to Asquith on 21 November 1911: An extract from this letter is in both the Official Biography (Vol. 2, 405) and The Churchill Documents Vol. V (Originally Companion Volume II part 3), page 1475. But the words you quote from that source are not there. I am comparing the extract line by line in search of our “smoking gun.” Fictitious quotes twisted or made up to suit people’s preconceived prejudices are, of course, not unique to Churchill.
To your second question: The Churchill Archives—one million documents, virtually every one he produced—fail to provide any instructions about handling suffragists dated 16 or 18 November 1910. They do however contain his 22 November letter to Sir Edward Henry, Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police. Directly addressing “Black Friday,” it refers to no earlier instructions. It clearly sets out Churchill’s views on police handling of demonstrators:
Dear Sir E. Henry, I am hearing from every quarter that my strongly expressed wishes conveyed to you on Wednesday evening and repeated on Friday morning that the suffragettes were not to be allowed to exhaust themselves but were to be arrested forthwith upon any defiance of the law, were not observed by the police on Friday last, with the result that very regrettable scenes occurred. It was my desire to avoid this even at some risk; to arrest large numbers and then subsequently to prosecute only where serious grounds were shown and I am sorry that, no doubt through a misunderstanding, another course has been adopted. In future I must ask for a strict adherence to the policy outlined herein. Yours very sincerely, WSC
These false allegations have been around for over a century, and are with us yet. In “Post-Truth” History on the Hillsdale Churchill website, historian Andrew Roberts writes:
At the Jaipur Literary Festival, I was on a panel discussion entitled “Churchill: Hero or Villain?,” where a biographer told a large crowd that Churchill…had “given instructions for police that they can batter the women and assault the women and sexually assault them as well.” He allegedly told policemen to “put their hands up their thighs, they can grope them and press their breasts.” “Can I just point out that that is completely untrue?” I intervened. “He at no stage ever okayed the sexual assault of any woman ever. It would be monstrous were it to be true, but there’s no evidence for it.” To which she replied: “It’s your word against mine.” Welcome to post-truth history…. Anyone who knows anything about Churchill knows how gallant he was towards women, even towards suffragists who disrupted his political meetings. It is unthinkable that he would have let it be known that such disgusting behaviour would be tolerated officially or unofficially. It is fortunate for the historian who made this allegation from the stage of the Jaipur Literary Festival that the dead cannot sue for libel, as if they could she would be bankrupted.
I am a History student at the University of Westminster in London and for my dissertation, I am writing about the relationship between Home Secretary Churchill, the Metropolitan Police, and their treatment of Suffragettes during the London demonstrations of 18-23 November 1910—particularly on Black Friday on the 18th. There are two areas where I hope you may be able to assist me.
The first question relates to an alleged quote by Churchill relating to his conservative views on women generally and women’s suffrage in particluar: “The women’s suffrage movement is only the small edge of the wedge, if we allow women to vote it will mean the loss of social structure and the rise of every liberal cause under the sun. Women are well represented by their fathers, brothers and husbands.”
In your book Winston Churchill, Myth and Reality you maintain on page 25 that Churchill never said these words in or out of the House of Commons, yet another source I have found suggests that Churchill did say these words in a letter to Asquith on 21 December 1911. It is intriguing as why such words should be invented if never said, so would you be able to shed light on why you dismissed the quoted statement.
For my second question, I am searching for the instructions apparently issued by Churchill to the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police as per Churchill’s letter dated 22 November 1910 which refers to instructions issued by Churchill on the 16th and 18th as to how the suffragette demonstrators were to be handled. In your researches on Churchill, have you come across these instructions?
Vince, thanks for the kind words. I’m sure the Avanti story’s been covered since the 1970s. For Studebaker 1946-1966: The Classic Postwar Years, check Bookfinder.com, which shows used copies as low as $28. Click here for the link.
I grew up in South Bend next door to the Altmans. I have memories of being a young kid and seeing several Avantis in their driveway. I thought one day I would own one, but it never happened. Is there a way for me to buy your Studebaker book for less than a hundred dollars? Is there an Avanti story to tell from 1970 on that hasn’t been told?
I graduated from Hillsdale many years ago. I’m glad to see them take advantage of your wisdom and talent.
All three movies are being over-dramatic. He never paraded around naked in front of secretaries or anyone else (including Roosevelt, whose encounter with Churchill, fresh from his bath, was inadvertent). He did dictate occasionally from his bath, shielded by the door. One one or two occasions he might have appeared indecorous, out of preoccupation with whatever he was doing. In no way did any of this constitute “harassment.” He simply wasn’t made that way.
I came upon your blog searching on “Winston Churchill naked.” According to at least 3 movies, he would dictate to his female secretaries sitting just outside while he was in the bath. One of the movies has him walking past her naked. I’m writing a book on sexual harassment and talking about “traditions” of harassment. Is it true that he did this? Thank you.
They were supplied by his late grandson; sorry, I don’t have the originals. You might try Chartwell where I think they may be on loan.
Was that the book proofed by Paul Courtenay? Yes. Please send to me c/o Hillsdale College Churchill Project, 33 East College Street Hillsdale MI 49242 USA. Thanks.
I hope you are well.
I wonder if you would be interested to receive a copy of ‘Churchill’s Confidant’, an upcoming book that describes the remarkable story of Winston Churchill’s relationship with Jan Smuts. It is a book that I hope you would enjoy as it covers an area of Churchill’s life that, to my mind, has been inadequately documented over the years.
Please do let me know if you’d like me to send a copy.
With very best wishes,
Hello Richard You have some very nice pictures of Mr. Churchill’s pocket watch in the article about it. I am in the process of writing a book about men’s jewelry and would like to use them. Are they yours or can you help me with a source? BR. Oliver
Thanks so much for the kind words, always hard to come by. Delighted to advise that the Frenchman was “about” right. From Sir Robert Rhodes James, ed., Winston S. Churchill: His Complete Speeches 1897-1963 (New York: Bowker, 1974, 8 vols.) I 316-17. A heckler had suggested that Churchill, having just changed his party, might change it again….
ADMINISTRATIVE HOME RULE FOR IRELAND 16 June 1904, Public Hall, Cheetham Hill, Manchester
“We are gathered here and I stand here with Liberal support as the Free Trade candidate for North-west Manchester because a distinguished politician has changed his mind. Many people change their minds in politics. Some people change their minds to avoid changing their party. (Laughter) Some people change their party to avoid changing their mind. (Renewed laughter)”
The “distinguished politician” was Joseph Chamberlain, who had deserted Free Trade for “Empire Free Trade” (protective tariffs on goods from outside the British Empire).
The date is confusing, since Churchill did not actually stand for North-west Manchester until 1906. It was in his sights, however, because he knew he would not be renominated as Conservative Member for Oldham. Two weeks earlier (31 May) he had crossed the floor of the House of Commons, deserting the Conservatives for the Liberals. (Incidentally, when the election did come, he won NW Manchester handily, 5639 to 4398; but they threw him out in April 1908. The following month he got back in for Dundee, which he represented as a Liberal until 1922.)
I would like to congratulate you for your dedicated efforts to separate truth from falsehood regarding the life of a historical figure of such importance. I stumbled on your work while making online research regarding Churchill’s position on the European construction, although I haven’t read yet your Winston Churchill, Myth and Reality. I’m looking forward to do so.
In a recent political argument between two politicians in France, Churchill was quoted as saying: “Some men change their party for the sake of their principles ; others their principles for the sake of their party”, did he ever utter these words and if so in what context and when?
We refer to model year, although some changes that became official for, say, 1940, might have been running changes made during the 1939 model run.
I have a question that I hope you can answer. I’m writing a book on the 1939 strike at Chrysler. In your co-authored book on the company, you discuss the models by year. Is that the chronological year or the model year, as they used the term it then? For example, when you discuss the engineering changes for 1940 (99), does that refer to production that began in August, 1939 or in August, 1940?
Thanks for the kind words. I’ll make your question into a post and run the illustration: watch the website. The drawing is by Frank Spring’s styling staff at Hudson, but only an alternative proposal for the basic “Step-Down” Hudson. My guess of the artist is Art Kibiger, but there’s more to the story. Alas the only prototype drawings I could find are in the book. Hudson had the habit of destroying prototype images, and these came from the designers I interviewed.
Recently I picked up your book Hudson 1946-1957: The Classic Postwar Years and found it an excellent read. On page 38 is a terrific sketch of a car that should have been built, rather than the designs that management chose. My question is who drew that sketch? It seems a bit unclear, and are there more drawings like that in existence. It would make a terrific guide for a project car.
I am an artist of fine art lithographs and etchings, and am the unnamed, unrecognized artist who worked directly with Sarah Churchill and Curtis Hooper on the entire “Churchill series.” Sarah and I selected every quote that was blind embossed on every ORIGINAL print. I created the printed copy of every quote that was then made into a plate and used to blind-emboss adjacent to Curtis Hooper’s image of Sir Winston and above the blind embossing created by Sarah. Curtis was allowed to sign on the lithograph plate, which was then printed on each print with his original drawing. Sarah hand signed her signature in pencil on every ORIGINAL. My signature was understandably not allowed, but I appreciated the privilege of being a part of what was a large project.
One can only review these with special permission of the Prime Minister of the day. Suggest you make a request of your Member of Parliament.
In a 4 May 2015 post, A.R. of London states “I reviewed the 1940-45 visitors books at Chequers”. My mother was at Chequers in March 1943 and I want to get a copy of the page that she signed on March 15 (maybe 14), between Anthony Eden and the King of Greece, but I don’t know whom to ask. How can I review these visitors books?
Bonzer work, mate! “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” OMG, that’s a misquote too!
I contacted The Sydney Morning Herald/The Age about the misattribution at http://www.theage.com.au/comment/parliamentarians-fail-basic-english-proficiency-test-20170623-gwxfpd.html. To their credit, the article was (silently) corrected a few hours ago. So, that’s one less specimen of “Churchillian Drift” to be found in the wild !
Thanks. A fresh example of “Churchillian Drift.” See: https://richardlangworth.com/drift
You commented to The Sydney Morning Herald/The Age that Churchill never said the words they ascribed to him: http://www.theage.com.au/comment/parliamentarians-fail-basic-english-proficiency-test-20170623-gwxfpd.html
“Winston Churchill is reported to have described Australian English as ‘the most brutal maltreatment which has ever been inflicted upon the mother tongue of the great English-speaking nations.'”
You are of course completely correct. It’s by New York-born philologist *William* Churchill (1859-1920), in his 1911 book Beach-la-Mar, the Jargon or Trade Speech of the Western Pacific, p. 14. The book can be found online at babel.hathitrust.org.
One could say something sarcastic like, “Journalists fail basic fact-checking test”, but in grudging fairness to the author it’s misattributed all over the internet.
If you refer to the montage of illustrations it was designed by arrist Charlotte Thibault (Google her), and incorporates a painting by Charlotte of Churchill and Eisenhower visiting the Gettysburg battlefield.
Hello, I am an follower of most things Churchillian, in particular fresh images, since I am a quite prolific ‘Churchill’ artist. The caricature which illustrates your ‘blog’ I find very interesting and would like to know who the artist was.Thanks for the very enjoyable content.
I have written nothing for The Federalist so I am not sure what piece of mine you refer to. I did read the 1994 article, “How Churchill, Rhodes and Smuts caused black South Africans to lose their rights.” I find it generally accurate, but not dispositive.
It is true that Britain dropped its opposition to making South Africa “white man’s country” by passing the Union of South Africa Act 1910. Churchill supported that Act because he saw it as the one way to ease lingering tensions with the Boers. Churchill justified his support of the Act by saying explicitly that it was the best possible, and he did not like it.
Churchill was a political man. He needed, and thought he needed, the votes of a majority. If he lived in an age of prejudice (and every age is that) then of course he would be careful how he offended those prejudices. See “Churchill and Racism It is quite true that Smuts believed in the “white man’s country” and in segregation in his earlier years. But the article doesn’t mention that when the pro-Apartheid National Party won the 1948 election, they defeated Smuts, who had run in support of the Fagin Commission, which recommended relaxing segregation.
Both Churchill and Smuts early expressed very liberal attitudes toward races their respective societies generally considered inferior. In 1900, young Winston argued with his Boer captors that blacks were entitled to the same rights as any others in the British Empire. In 1939, Smuts wrote an essay for a commemorative book on Gandhi’s 70th birthday. Although Churchill and Smuts were Gandhi adversaries at times, they had a mutual respect and even admiration for each other. See “Welcome, Mr. Gandhi.”
I have read your article about busting four myths about Winston Churchill from The Federalist. There is this one article I have that I like you to read and I’d like to hear your feedback. Click here.
Kieron, sorry, I have no knowledge. Try the book Master Motor Builders by Robert Neal, which is the last word on the subject including Packard’s involvement with the Rolls-Royce Merlin in WW2.
Hi Richard. Jonathan Stein thought of you when i posed this question to him. I’m an expat Brit at Hagerty in the US and read an intriguing sidebar in an old RR article recently from about 10 or 20 years ago……it implied a connection with the end of the Packard days and the development of the 6.75 RR engine around the same time. Do you know if that is just rumour or did in fact some technology or tooling or brainpower make its way from Packard to Crewe in the late 50s? Many thanks, Kieron.
Hey Russ-I sold my new ’69 in ’71. It was a constant pain with the federal air pump and I had no room or money to keep it as a souvenir. It has since been painted and hot-rodded. But it’s still going!
I sold my last Corvair recently, ’twas a bittersweet moment.
Still have a bunch of NOS and used parts, thank goodness for eBay.
What’s your current Corvair status?
My comments to Mr. Reid were private. I know he considered them all, but he was the author. WSC was certainly an “optimistic agnostic” himself, but he respected all religions (including Islam, despite frequently being quoted out of context on it). He knew the King James Bible better than some theologians. His many references to “Christian civilization” make his view of it self-evident. Of course everyone has their own opinions of Churchill’s views. There are a lot to consider.
THE LAST LION — PREAMBLE As a past member of the Churchill Society (Reves Chapter) and avid reader of nearly all of his books I have long awaited completion of this trology. Having jsut completed the Preamble I wonder what you thought regarding the author’s rather strong suppositions and conclusions they drew regarding WSC’s views on Christianity (not churchgoing or clergy, the proof is in the pudding there). I felt there were two era’s in these quotes (supported by footnotes dating content) — youth vs. the wisdom of age — and they were not discussed. There seemed to be many preconceived suppositions that felt more like the author’s views were superimposed over WSC’s. There were definate conflicts — but quotes on Heaven alwsy seemed to be cites as cynicism. Seems to me WSC could be more like Thomas Jefferson and his conflicting views. I simply did not see the conclusion that he was an Agnostic supported.
We have corresponded in the past – I believe you are from the Harrisburg, PA area. I live Mechanicsburg. I am glad to hear that Vol III of the “Last Lion” series is coming soon. I am excited to read it.
David A. Larson, Sr. CDR, USN, Retiered
You might be interested in this (undated) magazine, Tailor and Cutter, featuring Churchill and Eden on the cover: http://www.permanentstyle.co.uk/
The blogger comments (favorably) on Churchill’s clothing and specifically his bow tie!
SEO| Internet Marketing| Website Designing
What would a huge increase in relevant traffic mean for your business? If I could greatly increase the amount of customers who are interested in your products and services, wouldn’t you be interested.
In order for us to respond to your request for information, please include your company’s website address (mandatory) and /or phone number.
Sincerely, Gary Smith email@example.com COMPLETE INTERNET MARKETING SOLUTION SEO – Link Building – Copyright – Web Designing – PHP
Thanks for the kind words. Churchill was human and made mistakes, but tackling illegitimate criticism has been a fun hobby. Browse “Reviews” on this site, and take a look at Leading Churchill Myths, which I’ve written or compiled to cover the most popular canards. On recent nonsense-books, see also “The Fine Art of Selective Quoting.”
I congratulate you on your website. Had I more time I’d launch a site whose aim would be to take on current denigrators of Churchill. You are obviously a busy man, but yet manage to keep your site updated and full of interest – which reveals you to be of a class of efficiency and effectiveness far exceeding mine.
I wonder if you’ve had any thoughts on devoting any part of your site to to the group of prominent people who seem to have taken a violent dislike to Churchill – David Irving and Christopher Hitchens among them. Of the two I’ve named, the former suffers, I think, from a meta-patriotic impulse towards Germany; the latter, though possessing, undeniably, a sound intellect, suffers I think from a pronounced inferiority complex vis-a-vis Churchill. Both of them have – where Churchill is concerned – a pseudoscholarship that is sticks out like a sore thumb.
Mike, this is a common misquotation dating back to the original newspaper coverage in 1954. See my post: http://richardlangworth.com/2010/12/jaw-to-jaw-versus-jaw-jaw/
In the following article, WC is quoted as saying “to jaw-jaw is always better than to war-war.”
CHURCHILL URGES PATIENCE IN COPING WITH RED DANGERS By W. H. LAWRENCES New York Times (1923-Current file); Jun 27, 1954; pg. 1
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *