Tag: “My Early Life”

Churchill’s Escape from the Boers, 1899

Churchill’s Escape from the Boers, 1899

Escape from the Boers, 1899:

Please can you com­ment on, the “Dutch­man, Bur­gen­er by name,” men­tioned by Churchill in his account of his escape from the Boers in his auto­bi­og­ra­phy, My Ear­ly Life? Is he one and the same per­son as the Charles Burn­ham men­tioned by Sir Mar­tin Gilbert in Churchill: A Life? Per­haps the sur­name was changed to pro­tect Mr Burnham`s posi­tion in South Africa? Yet thoughthree decades had elapsed by the pub­li­ca­tion of My Ear­ly Life. It seems cer­tain that Churchill knew of Burn­ham and the role that he had played.…

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Churchill on Horses

Churchill on Horses

“We need a horse­man for our next pres­i­dent,” writes Gary Hodg­son in the Fort Mor­gan Times, who then goes on to quote “the famous rein­ing cham­pi­on, team rop­er and all around cowboy…Sir Win­ston Churchill,” who alleged­ly said: “There is some­thing about the out­side of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.”

Unless Mr. Hodg­son has found a new attri­bu­tion, that charmer is not Churchill’s. It’s list­ed in the “Red Her­rings” appen­dix in Churchill by Him­self, page 575, with this note:

​​Repeat­ed­ly attrib­uted to every­one from Woodrow Wilson’s physi­cian to Ronald Rea­gan. “Cler­gy­man Hen­ry Ward Beech­er (1813–87) is one per­son to whom the thought was attrib­uted in his time.…

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Churchill the Young Carouser

Churchill the Young Carouser

Michael Shelden, author of Young Titan, a new biog­ra­phy of Churchill, set Lon­don media buzzing with spec­u­la­tion that young Vio­let Asquith attempt­ed sui­cide after Churchill decid­ed to mar­ry Clemen­tine Hozi­er (Finest Hour 158: 6). Not only that, reports the Dai­ly Mail, “He caroused with West End call girls and pro­posed to THREE soci­ety beauties—who turned him down.”

The soci­ety beau­ties were Pamela Plow­den, Muriel Wil­son and the actress Ethel Bar­ry­more. But the most rak­ish thing Mr. Shelden reports Churchill doing is show­er­ing Miss Bar­ry­more with “arm­fuls of flow­ers” and show­ing up at Claridge’s each night after her West End play end­ed, where he would “insist she have din­ner with him.”

The rest of the media’s lurid headline—“He caroused with West End call girls”—has main­ly to do with the 83-year-old sto­ry of Churchill as a Sand­hurst cadet, stand­ing up for the show­girls of the Empire The­atre when “prudes on the prowl” attempt­ed to erect bar­ri­ers shel­ter­ing their lair from more upright soci­ety.…

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