(One of a series of weekday posts about the life of Winston S. Churchill.)
Readers Note: One of you left a kind comment on yesterday's post thread to which I've responded there.
Churchill ended My Early Life with the oft-quoted remark the he "married and lived happily ever after.”
Certainly he and Clementine had a wonderful fifty-seven year marriage filled with love and care in good and bad times.
But their marriage had its moments, too. Sometimes things got very testy. One reason was Churchill's choice of friends.
Clementine approved of most of them but there were some – Brendan Bracken and Lord Beaverbrook were two – who for years she wished Churchill would cast aside. But he wouldn't.
Worse for Clementine, despite her protestations, he'd often invited them as overnight guests at Chartwell.
Why wouldn’t he give in to Clementine? Or at least put a little "distance" in certain friendships?
Violet Bonham Carter, Churchill’s friend for almost sixty years, gives us her answer :
His friendship was a stronghold against which the gates of Hell could not prevail. There was an absolute quality in his loyalty, known only to those safe within its walls. Their battle was his own. He would concede no inch of ground, no smallest point against them. In a friend he would defend the indefensible, explain away the inexplicable – even forgive the unforgivable.Most of us recognize the Churchill Bonham Carter describes as the same Churchill we respect and honor.
The dogwoods, azaleas and redbuds are still beautiful here. I hope it's nice where you are, too.
Have a good weekend.
Violet Bonham Carter, Winston Churchill: An Intimate Portrait. ( pgs. 116-117)