Tag: Harrow

“Rascals, etc….”: Churchill & India

“Rascals, etc….”: Churchill & India

“Rascals, Rogues and Freebooters”

“Pow­er will go to the hands of ras­cals, rogues, free­boot­ers; all Indi­an lead­ers will be of low cal­i­bre & men of straw. They will have sweet tongues and sil­ly hearts. They will fight amongst them­selves for pow­er and India will be lost in polit­i­cal squab­bles.”

The state­ment above is attrib­uted to Churchill. I can­not find it, as a speech or in a book. Although it is wide­ly and increas­ing­ly quot­ed in the Indi­an press and, giv­en what is hap­pen­ing, he seems to have been prophet­ic! —K.P., India

I searched for this line, and iso­lat­ed key word com­bi­na­tions (ras­cals, etc.), with­out suc­cess.…

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Churchill as Thucydides

Churchill as Thucydides

As a post-doc at Tübin­gen Uni­ver­si­ty (Ger­many) I am cur­rent­ly work­ing on a paper about Sir Win­ston Churchill’s appre­ci­a­tion of Thucy­dides: did he pos­sess a per­son­al copy of the ancient historian’s His­to­ry of the Pelo­pon­nesian War? I would be very grate­ful for any help. —O.S., Ger­many

Thucy­dides (Wiki­me­dia)

I don’t know if Churchill had a copy of Thucy­dides’ His­to­ry of the Pelop­pon­nesian War at Chartwell (you might check with the house man­ag­er there). But if you are ask­ing if Churchill read and appre­ci­at­ed the works of the great Greek his­to­ri­an, he cer­tain­ly did. What’s more, the writ­ings of Churchill were often com­pared to those of Thucy­dides.…

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“Never give in”: Was this a three-word speech?

“Never give in”: Was this a three-word speech?

Did Churchill ever make a three word speech, “Nev­er Give Up,” and then just sit down? —A.S., Riga, Latvia

That sto­ry is all over the web, con­stant­ly repeat­ed. But it is entire­ly wrong. I think it springs from the many inac­cu­rate “wit and wis­dom” quote books.

“Never give in” (not “up”)

The three words (“in” not “up”) were part of Churchill’s 20-minute speech to the boys at Har­row, his old school, when he vis­it­ed Har­row for their annu­al songfest (“Songs”) on 29 Octo­ber 1941. The full speech is pub­lished in Robert Rhodes James, ed., Win­ston S.

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