A CHURCHILL CANVAS by John Spencer Churchill


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John Spencer Churchill's father, who was the brother of Winston Churchill, did not want his son to become an artist, and used to berate him for ""playing the ass in the gutter"" (as a bohemian) and for ""playing the ass in the bulrushes"" (as a lover). The author resented these descriptions, but there is much in this book to establish their accuracy. In spite of a liking for berets and silk cloaks, however, he has had sufficient seriousness of purpose to make a living for himself as a painter of murals in fashionable homes, including his murals in the summerhouse at his uncle's country place, Chartwell. Working on the murals and on other occasions, he has stayed with his aunt and uncle, but his accounts of their household are not particularly interesting: Churchill emerges as the domestic bully one has always supposed he might be. The author's own erratic life, carefully documented drinking habits, and four marriages are far more entertaining. In this amusing autobiography, an artist paints himself as a somewhat silly but nevertheless likeable person: who could dislike a man who issues an elaborate Honours List for his cats on his fiftieth birthday?

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1961
Publisher: Little, Brown