Tag: George Bernard Shaw

All the “Quotes” Winston Churchill Never Said (1)

All the “Quotes” Winston Churchill Never Said (1)

Fake Quotes: A-E

In 1686 the Oxford Eng­lish Dic­tio­nary described “red her­ring,” a metaphor to draw pur­suers off a track, as “the trail­ing or drag­ging of a dead Cat or Fox (and in case of neces­si­ty a Red-Her­ring) three or four miles…and then lay­ing the Dogs on the scent…to attempt to divert atten­tion from the real ques­tion.” I apply the term to quotes, alleged­ly by Churchill, which he nev­er said—or if he did, was quot­ing some­body else.

Hence my Red Her­rings Appen­dix, updat­ed here­with, for the new, expand­ed edi­tion of my quotes book Churchill by Him­self. “You could fill a book with what Win­ston Churchill didn’t say,” remarked his some­time col­league, Rab But­ler.…

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“Bring a friend if you have one”

“Bring a friend if you have one”

GBS in 1925 (Wiki­me­dia)

Alas the famous exchange between Churchill and George Bernard Shaw is  fic­tion.

Accord­ing to the usu­al­ly reli­able Kay Halle, in her quo­ta­tions book Irre­press­ible Churchill (Cleve­land: World, 1966, page 116), Shaw wrote to Churchill in 1924: “Am reserv­ing two tick­ets for you for my pre­miere. Come and bring a friend—if you have one.”

Churchill, Halle says, replied: “Impos­si­ble to be present for the first per­for­mance. Will attend the second—if there is one.” Finest Hour edi­tor Dal­ton New­field explained in the 1970s that the play in ques­tion was Shaw’s “St.

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