Winston Churchill as writer
Winston Churchill, in addition to his careers of soldier and politician, was a prolific writer under the pen name 'Winston S. Churchill'. After being commissioned into the 4th Queen's Own Hussars in 1895, Churchill gained permission to observe the Cuban War of Independence, and sent war reports to The Daily Graphic. He continued his war journalism in British India, at the Siege of Malakand, then in the Sudan during the Mahdist War and in southern Africa during the Second Boer War.
Churchill's fictional output included one novel and a short story, but his main output comprised non-fiction. After he was elected as an MP, over 130 of his speeches or parliamentary answers were also published in pamphlets or booklets; many were subsequently published in collected editions. Churchill received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1953 "for his mastery of historical and biographical description as well as for brilliant oratory in defending exalted human values".
In 1895 Winston Churchill was commissioned cornet (second lieutenant) into the 4th Queen's Own Hussars. His annual pay was £300, and he calculated he needed an additional £500 to support a style of life equal to that of other officers of the regiment.[a] To earn the required funds, he gained his colonel's agreement to observe the Cuban War of Independence; his mother, Lady Randolph Churchill, used her influence to secure a contract for her son to send war reports to The Daily Graphic. He was subsequently posted back to his regiment, then based in British India, where he took part in, and reported on the Siege of Malakand; the reports were published in The Pioneer and The Daily Telegraph. The reports formed the basis of his first book, The Story of the Malakand Field Force, which was published in 1898. To relax he also wrote his only novel, Savrola, which was published in 1898. That same year he was transferred to the Sudan to take part in the Mahdist War (1881–1899), where he participated in the Battle of Omdurman in September 1898. He published his recollections in The River War (1899).
In 1899 Churchill resigned his commission and travelled to South Africa as the correspondent with The Morning Post, on a salary of £250 a month plus all expenses, to report on the Second Boer War.[b] He was captured by the Boers in November that year, but managed to escape. He remained in the country and continued to send in his reports to the newspaper. He subsequently published his despatches in two works, London to Ladysmith via Pretoria and Ian Hamilton's March (both 1900). He returned to Britain in 1900 and was elected as the Member of parliament for the Oldham constituency at that year's general election.
As a serving MP he began publishing pamphlets containing his speeches or answers to key parliamentary questions. Beginning with Mr Winston Churchill on the Education Bill (1902), over 135 such tracts were published over his career. Many of these were subsequently compiled into collections, several of which were edited by his son, Randolph and others of which were edited by Charles Eade, the editor of the Sunday Dispatch. In addition to his parliamentary duties, Churchill wrote a two-volume biography of his father, Lord Randolph Churchill, published in 1906, in which he "presented his father as a tory with increasingly radical sympathies", according to the historian Paul Addison.
In the 1923 general election Churchill lost his parliamentary seat and moved to the south of France where he wrote The World Crisis, a six-volume history of the First World War, published between 1923 and 1931. The book was well-received, although the former Prime Minister Arthur Balfour dismissed the work as "Winston's brilliant autobiography, disguised as world history". At the 1924 general election Churchill returned to the Commons. In 1930 he wrote his first autobiography, My Early Life, after which he began his researches for Marlborough: His Life and Times (1933–1938), a four-volume biography of his ancestor, John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough. Before the final volume was published, Churchill wrote a series of biographical profiles for newspapers, which were later collected together and published as Great Contemporaries (1937).
In May 1940, eight months after the outbreak of the Second World War, Churchill became Prime Minister. He wrote no histories during his tenure, although several collections of his speeches were published. At the end of the war he was voted out of office at the 1945 election; he returned to writing and, with a research team headed by the historian William Deakin, produced a six-volume history, The Second World War (1948–1953). The books became a best-seller in both the UK and US. Churchill served as Prime Minister for a second time between October 1951 and April 1955 before resigning the premiership; he continued to serve as an MP until 1964. His final major work was the four-volume work A History of the English-Speaking Peoples (1956–1958). In 1953 Churchill was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "for his mastery of historical and biographical description as well as for brilliant oratory in defending exalted human values". Churchill was almost always well paid as an author and, for most of his life, writing was his main source of income. He produced a huge portfolio of written work; the journalist and historian Paul Johnson estimates that Churchill wrote an estimated eight to ten million words in more than forty books, thousands of newspaper and magazine articles, and at least two film scripts. John Gunther in 1939 estimated that he earned $100,000 a year ($1.47 million in 2019) from writing and lecturing, but that "of this he spends plenty".
When demand was high for his newspaper and magazine articles, Churchill employed a ghostwriter. During 1934, for example, Churchill was commissioned by Collier's, the News of the World, the Daily Mail - and, added that year, the Sunday Dispatch, for which the newspaper's editor, William Blackwood, employed Adam Marshall Diston to rework Churchill's old material (Churchill himself would write one new piece in every four published by the Dispatch). Later in the year, when Churchill had less time to write, at the recommendation of Blackwood he employed Diston directly as his ghostwriter. Diston wrote, for example, Churchill's remaining Collier's articles for the year, being paid £15 from the £350 commission Churchill received for each article. Blackwood considered Diston a 'splendid journalist' and his first article written for Churchill went to print without change - this, according to David Lough, 'was the start of a partnership that would flourish for the rest of the decade'. By the end of the following year, Diston had already prepared most of Churchill's 'The Great Men I Have Known' series for the News of the World in Britain and Collier's in the USA, due to appear from January 1936. Sir Emsley Carr, the British newspaper's chairman, enjoyed them so much he immediately signed up Churchill for a series in 1937. The News of the World would pay nearly £400 (£12,000 today) an article. Another of Churchill's ghostwriters was his Private Secretary Edward Marsh (who would at times receive up to 10% of Churchill's commission).
American novelist of the same name
In the late 1890s, Churchill's writings first came to be confused with those of his American contemporary, a best-selling novelist. He wrote to his American counterpart about the confusion their names were causing among their readers, offering to sign his own works "Winston Spencer Churchill", adding the first half of his double-barrelled surname, Spencer-Churchill, which he did not otherwise use. After a few early editions the middle name was turned into an initial, his pen name subsequently appearing as "Winston S. Churchill".
The two men met on occasions when one of them happened to be in the other's country, but their diametrically opposed personalities prevented the development of a close friendship.
|Title||Year of first
|First edition publisher||Notes|
|The Story of the Malakand Field Force||1898||Longman, London|
|The River War||1899||Longman, London||Edited by Colonel Francis Rhodes; two volumes; reissued in 1901 as a single work|
|London to Ladysmith via Pretoria||1900||Longman, London & New York|
|Ian Hamilton's March||1900||Longman, London & New York|
|Lord Randolph Churchill||1906||Macmillan Publishers, London||Two volumes|
|My African Journey||1908||Hodder & Stoughton, London|
|The World Crisis||1923–1931||Butterworth, London||Six volumes; abridged and revised into one volume in 1931|
1 1911–1914 (1923)
|My Early Life||1930||Butterworth, London||Published in the US as A Roving Commission: My Early Life|
|Thoughts and Adventures||1932||Butterworth, London||Published in the US as Amid These Storms|
|Marlborough: His Life and Times||1933–1938||Butterworth, London||Four volumes|
|Great Contemporaries||1937||Butterworth, London||Revised and enlarged edition published in 1938|
|The Second World War||1948–1953||Cassell, London||Six volumes, consisting of:|
1 The Gathering Storm (1948)
|Painting as a Pastime||1948||Odhams Press, London|
|A History of the English-Speaking Peoples||1956–1958||Cassell, London||Four volumes, consisting of:|
1 The Birth of Britain (1956)
|Title||Year of first
|First edition publisher||Notes|
|"Man Overboard; an Episode of the Red Sea"||1898||Harmsworth Brothers, London||Written in youth. First published work of fiction. Appeared in The Harmsworth Magazine issue of December 1898.|
|Savrola||1900||Longman, London||Novel; first appeared in serial form in Macmillan's Magazine 1898–1900|
|"If Lee Had NOT Won the Battle of Gettysburg" in If It Had Happened Otherwise||1931||Sidgwick and Jackson, London||With others|
|"The Dream"||1987||Churchill Literary Foundation, New Hampshire||Short story; first written in 1947 and first published as a feature in The Sunday Telegraph in January 1966, then as part of The Collected Essays in 1976. The Dream was not published in book form until September 1987, four decades after it was written and more than 22 years after Churchill's death.|
There are around 135 published booklets of Churchill's individual speeches, including "Mr Winston Churchill on the Education Bill" (1902), "The Fiscal Puzzle: Both Sides Explained by Leading Men'" (1903), "Why I am a Free Trader" (1905) and "Prisons and Prisoners" (1910); the following are speeches published in a collected form.
|Title||Year of first
|First edition publisher||Notes|
|Mr Broderick's Army||1903||Humphreys, London|
|For Free Trade||1906||Humphreys, London|
|Liberalism and the Social Problem||1909||Hodder & Stoughton, London|
|The People's Rights||1910||Hodder & Stoughton, London|
|Parliamentary Government and the Economic Problem||1930||The Clarendon Press, Oxford|
|India: Speeches and an Introduction||1931||Butterworth, London|
|Arms and the Covenant||1938||George G. Harrap and Co., London||Edited by Randolph Churchill; published in the US as While England Slept|
|Step by Step: 1936–1939||1939||Butterworth, London||Edited by Randolph Churchill|
|Addresses Delivered||1940||Ransohoffs, San Francisco|
|Into Battle||1941||Butterworth, London||Edited by Randolph Churchill; published in the US as Blood, Sweat and Tears|
|Broadcast Addresses||1941||Ransohoffs, San Francisco|
|The Unrelenting Struggle||1942||Cassell, London||Edited by Charles Eade|
|The End of the Beginning||1943||Cassell, London||Edited by Charles Eade|
|Winston Churchill, Prime Minister||1943||British Information Services, New York|
|Onwards to Victory||1944||Cassell, London||Edited by Charles Eade|
|The Dawn of Liberation||1945||Cassell, London||Edited by Charles Eade|
|Victory||1946||Cassell, London||Edited by Charles Eade|
|Secret Sessions Speeches||1946||Cassell, London||Edited by Charles Eade; published in the US as Winston Churchill's Secret Sessions Speeches|
|War Speeches||1946||Cassell, London||Edited by F B Czarnomskí|
|World Spotlight Turns on Westminster||1946||Westminster College, Fulton, MO|
|The Sinews of Peace||1948||Cassell, London||Edited by Randolph Churchill|
|Europe Unite: Speeches 1947 and 1948||1950||Cassell, London||Edited by Randolph Churchill|
|In the Balance: Speeches 1949 and 1950||1951||Cassell, London||Edited by Randolph Churchill|
|The War Speeches||1952||Cassell, London||Edited by Charles Eade|
|Stemming the Tide: Speeches 1951 and 1952||1953||Cassell, London||Edited by Randolph Churchill|
|The Wisdom of Sir Winston Churchill||1956||Allen & Unwin, London|
|The Unwritten Alliance: Speeches 1953 and 1959||1961||Cassell, London||Edited by Randolph Churchill|
|Winston S. Churchill: His Complete Speeches||1974||Chelsea House, New York||Edited by Robert Rhodes James|
|Title||Year of first
|First edition publisher||Notes|
|Charles, IXth Duke of Marlborough, KG Tributes by Rt Hon W Spencer-Churchill and C C Martindale||1934||Burns, Oates & Co, London||With C C Martindale; reprinted from The Times|
|Maxims and Reflections||1948||Eyre & Spottiswoode, London||Collection; revised and enlarged in 1954 as Sir Winston Churchill: A Self-Portrait|
|The Eagle Book of Adventure Stories||1950||Hulton Press, London||With others|
|King George VI: The Prime Minister's Broadcast, February 7, 1952||1952||A J St Onge, Worcester, MA|
|Winston Churchill's Anti-Depression Proposal to Halt Inflation, Stabilize Prosperity, and Insure Full Freedom||1958||Public Revenue Education Council, St. Louis, MO|
|Churchill: His Paintings||1967||Hamish Hamilton, London||Compiled by David Coombs and Minnie Churchill (later Mary Soames)|
|The Roar of the Lion||1969||Allan Wingate, London|
|Joan of Arc||1969||Dodd, Mead and Company, New York|
|Winston Churchill on America and Britain: A Selection of His Thoughts on America and Britain||1970||Walker||Foreword by Lady Churchill|
|Young Winston's Wars: The Original Dispatches of Winston S. Churchill, War Correspondent, 1897–1900||1972||Sphere Books, London|
|Great Issues 71: A Forum on Important Questions Facing the American Public||1972||Troy State University, Troy, AL||With John Glubb|
|If I Lived My Life Again||1974||W H Allen, London|
|The Collected Poems of Sir Winston Churchill||1981||Sun & Moon Press, College Park, MD||Collected and edited by F. John Herbert|
|Churchill and Roosevelt: The Complete Correspondence||1984||Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ||Edited with commentary by Warren F. Kimball|
|Memories and Adventures||1989||Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London|
|Winston Churchill and Emery Reves: Correspondence, 1937–1964||1997||University of Texas Press, Austin, TX|
|Speaking for Themselves: The Personal Letters of Winston and Clementine Churchill||1998||Doubleday, London||Edited by Mary Soames|
Notes and references
- "The Nobel Prize in Literature 1953". Nobel Media. Retrieved 15 February 2016.
- Jenkins 2012, p. 21.
- UK CPI inflation numbers based on data available from Gregory Clark (2016), "The Annual RPI and Average Earnings for Britain, 1209 to Present (New Series)" MeasuringWorth. Retrieved 12 June 2016.
- Kitzan 2007, p. 330.
- Johnson 2009, pp. 12–14.
- Kitzan 1990, p. 85.
- Jenkins 2012, pp. 31–32.
- Johnson 2009, p. 331.
- Addison 2004.
- Jenkins 2012, p. 65.
- Thomas 1987, pp. 4, 8.
- Baker 2004.
- Thomas 1987, p. 4.
- Kitzan 2007, pp. 333–34.
- Kitzan 2007, p. 334.
- Thomas 1987, pp. 8–9.
- Kitzan 2007, p. 337.
- Johnson 2009, pp. 149–50.
- Kitzan 2007, p. 338.
- Johnson 2009, p. 11.
- Wenden 1993, pp. 231–33.
- Gunther, John (1940). Inside Europe. New York: Harper & Brothers. pp. 330, 332.
- David Lough, No More Champagne: Churchill and his Money (London: Head of Zeus, 2015)
- Roy Jenkins, Churchill: A Biography (Pan Macmillan, 2012)
- Frederick Woods, Artillery of Words: The Writings of Sir Winston Churchill (London: Leo Copper, 1992)
- Dockter, Warren (October 2011). "The Tale of Two Winstons". The Historian. 11: 10–12.
- "Winston (Leonard Spencer) Churchill". Contemporary Authors. Gale. Retrieved 14 February 2016. (subscription required)
- Kitzan 1990, pp. 83–85.
- Kitzan 2007, pp. 327–29.
- Thomas 1986, p. 11.
- Nudd 1990, p. 12.
- Barrett 2000, pp. 43–44.
- Thomas 1987, p. 12.
- Kitzan 2007, p. 327.
- Addison, Paul (2004). "Churchill, Sir Winston Leonard Spencer (1874–1965)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/32413. Retrieved 6 April 2016. (subscription or UK public library membership required)
- Baker, Anne Pimlott (2004). "Eade, Charles Stanley (1903–1964)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/56750. Retrieved 6 April 2016. (subscription or UK public library membership required)
- Barrett, Buckley Barry (2000). Churchill: A Concise Bibliography. Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0-313-31450-6.
- Jenkins, Roy (2012). Churchill. London: Pan Macmillan. ISBN 978-0-330-47607-2.
- Johnson, Paul (2009). Churchill. London: Viking. ISBN 978-0-670-02105-5.
- Kitzan, Laurence (1990). "Sir Winston Churchill". In Beum, Robert (ed.). Dictionary of Literary Biography: Modern British Essayists. Detroit: Gale Research. ISBN 978-0-8103-4580-5.
- Kitzan, Laurence (2007). "Sir Winston Churchill". In Bruccoli, Darren (ed.). Dictionary of Literary Biography: Nobel Prize Laureates in Literature. Detroit: Gale Research. ISBN 978-1-4144-2863-5.
- Nudd, Kevin (June 1990). "Winston Churchill's Early Books". The Book and Magazine Collector. Diamond Publishing Group (75).
- Thomas, David A (February 1986). "The Historical Works of Sir Winston Churchill". The Book and Magazine Collector. Diamond Publishing Group (24).
- Thomas, David A (January 1987). "The Speeches of Sir Winston Churchill". The Book and Magazine Collector. Diamond Publishing Group (34).
- Wenden, D J (1993). "Churchill, Radio, and Cinema". In Blake, Robert B; Louis, William Roger (eds.). Churchill. Oxford: Clarendon Press. ISBN 978-0-19-820626-2.
- Works by Winston Churchill as writer at Project Gutenberg
- Works by Winston S. (Spencer) Churchill at Faded Page (Canada)
- Works by or about Winston Churchill at Internet Archive
- Works by Winston Churchill at LibriVox (public domain audiobooks)
- Collected Churchill Podcasts and speeches
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Winston Churchill
- The Churchill Centre website
- Winston Churchill Memorial and Library at Westminster College, Missouri
- Locations of correspondence and papers of Churchill at the UK National Archives