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Winston Churchill and Polo, Part 1, by Barbara Langworth

Winston Churchill and Polo, Part 1, by Barbara Langworth

“Win­ston Churchill and Polo” was first pub­lished in 1991. It is now updat­ed and amend­ed, thanks to the rich store of mate­r­i­al avail­able in The Churchill Doc­u­ments pub­lished by Hills­dale Col­lege Press. This arti­cle is abridged with­out foot­notes from the Hills­dale Col­lege Churchill Project. For the com­plete text and foot­notes, click here.

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Churchill loved polo, which he called “The Emper­or of Games.” A con­tem­po­rary writer’s descrip­tion of his polo tac­tics is remind­ful of much else in the statesmen’s approach to life and pol­i­tics:

He rides in the game like heavy cav­al­ry get­ting into posi­tion for the assault.…

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“12 million feathers on his wings…”

“12 million feathers on his wings…”

I came across a say­ing by Churchill on the lines of: “There are 13 mil­lion feath­ers on a dragonfly’s wing yet it is but a mouth­ful for a bird.” He was say­ing that only in humans does one finds sen­ti­men­tal­i­ty, sad­ness or com­pas­sion for dread­ful things that hap­pen.  —R.H.

I searched for “dragonfly’s wing” and noth­ing came up. I tried “mil­lion feath­ers” and sure enough! Great quote. Sor­ry I missed it in Churchill by Him­self, but it will be in the sequel, The Defin­i­tive Wit of Win­ston Churchill.

On 10 Jan­u­ary 1898 Win­ston wrote to his moth­er, Lady Ran­dolph Churchill, from Ban­ga­lore, India, where he was sta­tioned, implor­ing her to help him join the Sudan Cam­paign as a war cor­re­spon­dent.…

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