A Spectacular Collection of Winston Churchill Letters and Manuscripts
Collection of 37 pieces signed by Churchill: 22 letters signed [eleven completely in his hand], fifty pages; two Typewritten Manuscripts Signed, seven heavily revised and corrected Manuscript pages; three Signed Photographs; a group of his books Signed; printed broadside of his speech; and three other interesting World War II pieces signed by him. 1906-1961.
An amazing collection of letters with very fine content beginning with his efforts in 1907 to help one of his guards while he was a prisoner in the Boer War; his early political career in many different capacities, his prophetic assessment in 1911 of the dangerous developments in Europe resulting in World War I, the difficulties England faced after the war, the attacks on him when he began to forecast the growing danger of Nazi Germany.
In 1939, Churchill comments on Hitler’s speech about the invasion of Czechoslovakia [“The government reaction to the latest Hitler performance is more robust than I feared”]; a lengthy letter about government propaganda, January 11, 1940 [“After all we are on our own side, and there is no need for us to select particular forms of…presentation which put our affairs in the least favorable light…At the present time things are going well; but we cannot tell they may not get much worse, in which case an unduly pessimistic form of presentation will become a nuisance.”]; a signed menu from the famous luncheon honoring the Royal Navy for defeat of the German battleship Graf Spee.
A rather amazing response in October 1940, just after the Battle of Britain’s turning point, about the “delay in the postal service”; a letter several days later about the equipment of the fighter defense force; a wonderful letter written in August 1943, handwritten by him [“Shawn tells me he is going over to see you next week, so I send by him these few lines. It is always a great pleasure to me to feel that you have been watching so intensely all of the tremendous matte of war and state in which I have my part, & have followed…our steady march from mortal peril to what is now almost certain victory.”]; several signed World War II pieces from Churchill’s meeting with Roosevelt, Bradley, and the Yalta Conference.
In July 1947, he comments about Roosevelt [“I consider him one of the two or three greatest Americans who have ever lived, certainly found in him the truest friend of European freedom.”]; and a signed statement about the Battle of Britain, 1961 [“It is most fitting that we should each year remember the Battle of Britain. The autumn of 1940 has come to symbolize the spirit that brought our country through the darkest days of the war. It was not the turning point of our struggle, but it was our first decisive victory. We should honour those who fought: we should remember the dependants of those who fell.”] He also writes about the situation in England just after the war, and finally a letter in response to a complaint that the French were not given sufficient recognition in Churchill’s History of World War II.
The seven Typewritten Manuscripts, heavily revised and corrected by Churchill, are from his Marlborough; His Life and Times, Churchill’s monumental biography of his great ancestor, the Duke of Marlborough, which was published 1933-1938. These pages are from volume II which he wrote during the period 1933-1934.
Typewritten Manuscript Signed, 1946, addressing the problems in the wake of the victory in World War II, “The Battle For Freedom During the War. Now, Unhappily, we are engaged in another struggle to preserve what we thought we had won. Upon the issue of this struggle the future happiness, prosperity and stability of our nation and empire depend”.
Churchill’s The Second World War, 6 volumes, with one volume signed by him, is in the collection, as well as My Early Life, inscribed in 1948.
Churchill’s speeches in World War II were so inspirational that excerpts from them were printed immediately and used as broadsides. One of his most famous is in the collection, along with several others. “Come then let us to the task, to the battle & the toil, each to our part, each to our station, fill the armies, rule the air, pour out the munitions, strangle the U-boats, sweep the mines, plough the land, build the ships, guard the streets, succor the wounded, uplift the downcast & honour the brave. Let us go forward together in all parts of the Empire, in all parts of this island. There is not a weak, nor a day, nor an hour to be lost.”
Churchill was always featured in British propaganda during the war, particularly in leaflets that were dropped by air over France. Seven of these are in the collection. Also, a first printing of his August 20, 1940 speech given during the height of the Battle of Britain. In this historic speech, Churchill gives a complete picture of the progress of the War, but most importantly speaks of the present situation and of the future. This sixteen page pamphlet shows Churchill with a grasp of both what is happening in the largest sense and every detail of what is creating and affecting the enormous worldwide events on August 20, 1940. It is important to remember that Churchill was not only the greatest inspiration to the British people, whose position without him was lost, but his speeches enormously affected Hitler, who took what he said to be literally true: “The gratitude of every home in our Island, in our Empire, and indeed throughout the world, excepts in the abodes of the guilty, goes out of the British airmen who, undaunted by the odds, unwearied in their constant challenge and mortal danger, are turning the tide of world war by their prowess and by their devotion. Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.”
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