Friday, March 14, 2008

The Churchill Series - Mar. 14, 2008

(One of a series of weekday posts about the life of Winston S. Churchill.)

I’m an admirer of William Manchester’s two volume Churchill biography: The Last Lion and Alone. I regret a stroke prevented Manchester from completing his planned third and final volume of the biography.

That said, there are some things Manchester says about Churchill that just aren’t so. Here's one example. In Alone Manchester writes :

As a man who reached his majority in 1895, when Victorian gentlemen never use the words “breast” or “leg” if ladies were present, he assumes that they are innocents who must be shielded from the brutal facts of life and that feminine beauty is unaccompanied by carnal desire.” (p. 17)
Churchill understood from youth that the Victorian convention of avoiding references to sex in front of women was just that: a social convention.

Churchill knew that many women enjoyed sex. One of them was his mother; another was his wife. When he was away, Clementine would often end her letters to him remarks such “your ‘Cat’ needs stroking” and “I so want to purr with you.”

Now the weekend's upon us, and I hope yours purrs right along.

All Good Thinks,