Who’s your favourite Winston Churchill?

Mention Winston Churchill and most people will immediately think of the British Prime Minister. In addition to being the man who saw Britain through World War 2, he was also a prolific author. But there was another Winston Churchill who was also an author. Both had American connections – the British PM’s mother was American whereas the other Winston Churchill was American through and through.

I came across the other Winston Churchill by accident. I didn’t know there were two when I found some novels by Winston Churchill in a second-hand bookshop in London (one of the huge benefits of real, physical bookshops – you never know what you’ll discover). I read A Modern Chronicle (1910) way back in 1999 and was taken with his writing, quite different from the style of Churchill’s writing I was used to. It made sense when I discovered there were two men with the same name writing around the same time. The other three books I’ve read are Coniston (1906), A Far Country (1915) and The Celebrity (1898).

Prime Minister Winston Churchill was a prolific writer of historical events starting with his experiences in the Sudan (The River War: An account of the reconquest of the Sudan) and then the Anglo-Boer War (London to Ladysmith via Pretoria). A selection of books can be found on Gutenberg, but these do not include his mamoth account of World War 2 or other major historical accounts.

The better story teller is the novelist purely by virtue of being a teller of stories. However, both Churchills have a special place in my library (classified separately) and provide a good reminder of the need to double check everything – it’s incredible what you could discover.

Thanks Pablo for the image

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