Tag: Alexander Fleming

Churchill: Myth and Reality

Churchill: Myth and Reality

“We don’t know where we’re going but we’re on our way.” Churchill was urg­ing the end of “the foul baboon­ery of Bolshevism”—or was he? (Strube in the Dai­ly Express, 8 Sep­tem­ber 1919.)

Per the pre­vi­ous post, I append for read­er com­ment the con­tents of my next book, Win­ston Churchill, Myth and Real­i­ty: What Churchill Stood For.

I have writ­ten on most of these mat­ters in the past; the book recasts it afresh. I also acknowl­edge and cross-ref­er­ence the work of experts who know far more than I, par­tic­u­lar­ly in the fields of geneal­o­gy and med­i­cine.…

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The Dallying Duke of Marlborough

The Dallying Duke of Marlborough

John Churchill First Duke of Marl­bor­ough (1650-1722).

This his­tor­i­cal cor­ner of the Web is exer­cised over the mis­quotes and tall tales about Win­ston Churchill that clut­ter the Internet—by every­body from Wash­ing­ton quar­ter­back Robert Grif­fin III to assort­ed authors and politi­cians (see “Churchillian Drift”).   

They range from RG III’s recent “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak” (nobody knows who said that, but Churchill didn’t) to the fic­tion that Alexan­der Flem­ing twice saved Churchill’s life.

But here’s an amus­ing exam­ple of Churchill him­self destroy­ing a Churchill myth—about his ances­tor John Churchill, First Duke of Marl­bor­ough.…

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“Fleming Twice Saved Churchill’s Life”

“Fleming Twice Saved Churchill’s Life”

Is it true that Lord Ran­dolph Churchill edu­cat­ed Alexan­der Flem­ing, the dis­cov­er­er of peni­cillin, as a result of Flem­ing (or his father) res­cu­ing Churchill from drown­ing in a swamp when young Win­ston was a youth—and that Fleming’s dis­cov­ery, peni­cillin, saved Churchill’s life years lat­er in 1943? A friend of mine has sent me this email regard­ing it and I want­ed to ver­i­fy . —L.M.

I receive this ques­tion reg­u­lar­ly, but the sto­ry is untrue. Nei­ther Flem­ing nor his father were with Churchill at the times sug­gest­ed. Offi­cial biog­ra­ph­er Mar­tin Gilbert inves­ti­gat­ed, and found that the dates did not coin­cide.…

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