Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Churchill Series - Apr. 15, 2008

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

At a dinner party a few years ago someone asked, “John, what books did Churchill read?”

Well, you don’t really try to answer such a question, do you?

A polite response with a little information is all that was called for.

I responded something like this:

When he was 13 he asked his mother as a Christmas to buy him the two-volume set of U. S. Grant’s Memoirs.

When he was in India and in his early twenties, he read many of the classics, including Gibbon’s Decline and Fall.

During WW II he readHuckleberry Finn.

Late in Churchill’s life his physician, Lord Moran, found him in bed reading Orwell’s 1984. Churchill told Moran it was his second reading.

And this: After the war, Churchill developed a small but successful racing stable. So he would often read thoroughbred stud books, although I don’t know that anything he learned in them ever appeared in his speeches.
Do you know of a book Churchill read that you’d like to call to our attention? How about a reference he later made to a book he'd read?

If I get enough responses, I’ll put a post together.


Anonymous said...

"Treasure Island" was his favorite novel, I believe.