WINSTON S. CHURCHILL: Youth, 1874-1900 by Randolph S. Churchill
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WINSTON S. CHURCHILL: Youth, 1874-1900

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He shall be his own biographer""--this is the objective of Randolph Churchill's magnificent portrait based on his access to the Royal Archives as well as the Chartwell Trust of Letters and papers at his sole disposal. He has also attempted to write a ""filial and objective biography,"" which he has accomplished with a tact made possible by the openness of the letters quoted so well and so extensively. (The full letters are appended in companion volumes for the more searching reader.) The volume begins with Winston's birth and it moves on to early boyhood, schooling, Harrow and finally Sandhurst. As the years turn, so does Winston, from sweet letters to imploring ones (requesting consideration and cash) as well as firm, advisory letters to his widowed mother when he was a subaltern in India. His father, his capricious and extravagant mother, the devoted Mrs. Everest are very much alive in their own words. But mostly the chronicle is dominated by Winston, as his mind and heart and ambition develop, Winston who has ""faith in my star-- that is that I am intended to do something in the world,"" who is short of funds and fame, and is ""ardent for distinction,"" achieved by heroics in South Africa and the pen at home. The book ends with his return to England from an American lecture tour on the day of Queen Victoria's funeral-- entering ""a new century and a new reign"" and a new career. Of all the Churchilliana, this has perhaps the strongest emotional appeal -- it is an intimate, eloquent testimonial, sharing a splendid inheritance.

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin