“Boris Johnson, who has sought comparison with Winston Churchill, denounced spending national lottery money to save the wartime leader’s personal papers for the nation,” chortled The Guardian in December. (The Churchill Papers cover 1874-1945. Lady Churchill donated the post-1945 Chartwell Papers to the Churchill Archives in 1965.)
In April 1995 Johnson, then a columnist for the Daily Telegraph, deplored the £12.5 million purchase of Churchill Papers for the nation. The lottery-supported National Heritage Memorial Fund, said Johnson, was frittering away money on pointless projects and benefiting Tory grandees. Johnson added: “…seldom in the field of human avarice was so much spent by so many on so little …”
The Memorial Fund replied the Churchill Papers were a national heirloom under threat of being sold outside the country.…
Jacqueline Kennedy offered a touching and durable vision of Churchill’s legacy at the White House ceremony on 9 April 1963—now “Churchill Day” in America. It was when President Kennedy bestowed honorary U.S. citizenship on Sir Winston.
Aged 88, Churchill was represented by his son Randolph, who was a bundle of nerves. In the Oval Office beforehand, the First Lady recalled, “Randolph was ashen, his voice a whisper. ‘All that this ceremony means to [Randolph and the President],’ I thought, ‘is the gift they wish it to be for Randolph’s father.’” “Randolph stepped forward to respond: ‘Mr.…
I’ve been slogging through the William Manchester Churchill trilogy, The Last Lion. How is Hillsdale’s eight volume Winston S. Churchill by Randolph Churchill and Martin Gilbert different? —M.A., Louisiana.
If you are slogging through Manchester, you may find Gilbert a challenge. There is a vast difference, both writers have their advantages, but Gilbert is the source on which scholars rely.
Music by Churchill, Lyrics by Manchester
William Manchester was a stylist, a lyrical, beautiful writer.…