Excerpted from “Which Historical and Contemporary Figures were Churchill’s Inspirations?” Written for the Hillsdale College Churchill Project, February 2020. For Hillsdale’s complete text and illustrations, please click here.
We are often asked which historical and contemporary personages most influenced Winston Churchill’s thought and statesmanship. One is right to start with Lord Randolph Churchill, Napoleon, Clemenceau and Marlborough. The classics open another avenue. Readers can find pithy remarks by Churchill on many of the following figures in Churchill by Himself.
Lord Randolph Churchill
His father was the first of young Winston’s political inspirations, and the subject of his first biography.…
Though he gave permanent life to blood, toil, tears and sweat, Churchill’s best-remembered words did not originate with him. Similar expressions date very far back. (Excerpted from my essay for the Hillsdale College Churchill Project. To read the full article, click here.)
Quotations scholar Ralph Keyes writes:
Cicero and Livy wrote of “sweat and blood.” A 1611 John Donne poem included the lines “That ‘tis in vaine to dew, or mollifie / It with thy Teares, or Sweat, or Bloud.” More than two centuries later, Byron wrote, “Year after year they voted cent per cent / Blood, sweat, and tear-wrung millions—why?—for…