Tag: George Bernard Shaw

“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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Churchill Artist Richard Deane Taylor

Churchill Artist Richard Deane Taylor

Can you please tell me who the artist is who cre­at­ed the love­ly image of Win­ston Churchill on your book Churchill by Him­self?  —M.D., Lon­don

With plea­sure. He is Richard Deane Tay­lor, who paint­ed the orig­i­nal for a Collier’s cov­er in 1951 after Churchill had returned to Down­ing Street fol­low­ing the Gen­er­al Elec­tion. Click here for his vir­tu­al gallery.

Mr. Tay­lor, who died a few years ago, gave per­mis­sion to use it on the jack­et of the British edi­tion of Churchill by Him­self, which came to pass.

Unfor­tu­nate­ly, while the pub­lish­ers did make good efforts to light­en his eyes (which in life were very light blue), they cropped the top of WSC’s head, incur­ring the ire of Lady Soames and this writer, and some­what spoil­ing the effect, although they have promised to fix this in the sec­ond edition—”if there is one.”…

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