Tag: Brendan Bracken

“The Wilderness Years” with Robert Hardy: Original Review

“The Wilderness Years” with Robert Hardy: Original Review

“Churchill: The Wilderness Years”

The Hills­dale Col­lege Churchill Project has just repub­lished “Scal­ing Ever­est,” Robert Hardy’s rec­ol­lec­tions of play­ing the Wilder­ness Years Churchill. They are from 1987, his speech to one of our Churchill Tours, at the Reform Club, Lon­don. We are grate­ful to his execu­tors, Jus­tine Hardy and Neil Nis­bet-Robert­son for per­mis­sion to reprint. For Part 1, click here.

I thought the occa­sion appro­pri­ate to repub­lish my orig­i­nal review of the “Wilder­ness Years” from 1981, some years before we met. I thought at the time I had “laid an egg”—in Churchill’s phrase­ol­o­gy, not RH’s.…

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Present at the Creation: Randolph Churchill and the Official Biography (3)

Present at the Creation: Randolph Churchill and the Official Biography (3)

“Ran­dolph Churchill: Present at the Cre­ation,” is from a lec­ture aboard the Regent Sev­en Seas Explor­er on the 2019 Hills­dale Col­lege Cruise around Britain, 8 June 2019. Con­clud­ed from Part 2.

“The Great Work” —Randolph S.C.

After the war, Churchill willed his archive to Ran­dolph. In 1959, impressed by his son’s  biog­ra­phy of Lord Der­by, he invit­ed Ran­dolph to be his biog­ra­ph­er. Ran­dolph devot­ed him­self to the job, know­ing by then that he had wrecked his body, that the process of dis­in­te­gra­tion was advanced. Could he fin­ish in time? Ran­dolph won­dered.

He housed the archives in a fire­proof strong room at Stour, his home in Suf­folk.…

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“The Respectable Tendency” and the New PM, 1940-2019

“The Respectable Tendency” and the New PM, 1940-2019

Anent the new PM

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.)

“Coup of the rabble…”

“Even whilst the new PM was still at Buck­ing­ham Palace kiss­ing hands, the junior pri­vate sec­re­tary and Chamberlain’s PPS, Lord Dun­glass [Alec Dou­glas-Home] had joined Rab But­ler and ‘Chips’ Chan­non at the For­eign Office.…

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