My friend Steve Hayward had the wit to paraphrase, in reaction to the arrival of Boris Johnson at 10 Downing Street, some comments about another incoming PM, eighty years ago next May. “Cambridge Cute,” a friend remarked of Steve’s good piece.
Speaking of Cambridge Cuties, I immediately thought of what Andrew Roberts described as “The Respectable Tendency,” the British establishment, in his great book, Eminent Churchilllians. So I dug into a dozen books to find more of what they said back then. (Lightly paraphrased.)
“Two days earlier I had been a Minister of the Crown, red box and all. Now I was reduced to the position of a messenger between my wife and Winston Churchill, each of whom burst into tears on receipt of a message from the other.” —Harold Wilson
The Hillsdale College Churchill Project is rapidly completing final volumes of Winston S. Churchill, the official biography. (The name is somewhat of a misnomer; no one has ever censored any material.) Suitably, all thirty-one volumes will be complete by June 2019: the 75th Anniversary of D-Day. It will be fifty-six years since Randolph Churchill and his “Young Gentlemen” including Martin Gilbert began their work.…
A colleague asks whether Winston and Clementine Churchill’s private name for President Roosevelt was “Don Quixote.” Also, who compared Roosevelt and Churchill to Don Quixote and Sancho Panza? This offers an interesting troll through the sources.
So far as I can learn, the Quixote – Panza analogy for Roosevelt and Churchill (also FDR and his devoted adviser Harry Hopkins) occurred only during the 1943 Casablanca Conference (SYMBOL). Roosevelt proposed those code names, and I rather think Churchill had different image of them than FDR. (Oxford English Dictionary: “Quixote: Enthusiastic visionary, pursuer of lofty but impracticable ideals.”) Of course we can’t be sure.…