Winston S. Churchill, My Early Life: A Roving Commission. (London: Thornton Butterworth, 1930; New York: Scribners, 1930.) Numerous reprints and editions since, including e-books. Excerpted from the Hillsdale College Churchill Project. For the full article, click here.
My Early Life appeared a year before the last volume of The World Crisis. The subtitle, “A Roving Commission,” is from the first chapter of Churchill’s Ian Hamilton’s March. It seems he took it from an earlier novel by G.A. Henty, one of his favorite authors. The titles changed places in the first American edition.
A wonderful treat is in store in this most approachable of Churchill’s books. Harold Nicolson in his 1930 review likened My Early Life to “a beaker of champagne.” His bubbly expression is not shy of the mark.…
A colleague asks if it’s true that Churchill comrade Jack Seely was “arrested for arrogance” in the Boer War! It doesn’t sound to either of us like an arrestable offense, but fits the character—a lordly aristocrat-adventurer, and thus almost inevitable Friend of Winston. Churchill and Seely, circa 1912.
A Churchill biographer, Esme Wingfield-Stratford, agreed: “Gallant Jack Seely, from the Isle of Wight…a light-hearted gambler with death, was about the one man who could claim a record to compare with that of Winston himself.”
C.N Trueman thinks that Jack Seely could not have lived in the 21st century.…
A quarter-century later in his father’s old office as Chancellor of the Exchequer, WSC was still waging a forlorn campaign for government economy. (“Poy” in the Daily Mail, 25 January 1926.)
Young Winston Churchill’s second speech in Parliament was a bravura performance taking up his father’s theme for economy in the budget.