N.B. We do not see Churchill in Woodville’s dramatic painting above. He had drawn his pistol not his sword, in deference to his weak right shoulder. For the skill and dexterity it took to sheath his sword and aim his pistol, see my review of Brough Scott’s Churchill at the Gallop (with Ben Bradshaw’s painting of Churchill in the charge.)
Action and inaction
Q: Could you verify the correct wording for the Winston Churchill statement: “I never worry about action, but only inaction.” There are various iterations among the sources. —S.D.
From Churchill by Himself, page 190 (note he placed quotemarks around “worry”): “I never ‘worry’ about action, but only about inaction.”…
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. …
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.
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. “He truly belonged to an era associated with the British Empire and the attitudes embedded into a society that at one point had a government that controlled a quarter of the world.”…
Young Winston Churchill’s second speech in Parliament was a bravura performance taking up his father’s theme for economy in the budget.
In Churchill in His Own Words (p 45) I date this quotation 12 May 1901 and cite Churchill’s Mr. Brodrick’s Army, his 1903 volume of speeches (facsimile edition, Sacramento: Churchilliana Company, 1977), 16:
Wise words, Sir, stand the test of time, and I am very glad the House has allowed me, after an interval of fifteen years, to raise the tattered flag I found lying on a stricken field.