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The Works of Winston Churchill_ A Linked Index of the Project Gutenberg Editions

The Works of Winston Churchill_ A Linked Index of the Project Gutenberg Editions
Category: Indexes
Title: The Works of Winston Churchill_ A Linked Index of the Project Gutenberg Editions
Release Date: 2009-05-15
Type book: Text
Copyright Status: Public domain in the USA.
Date added: 25 March 2019
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Project Gutenberg's The Works Of Winston Churchill, by Winston Churchill.

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Title: The Works Of Winston Churchill
A Linked Index Of The Project Gutenberg Editions
Author: Winston Churchill
Editor: David Widger
Release Date: May 15, 2009 [EBook #28822]
Last Updated: January 5, 2019
Language: English.
Character set encoding: utf-8

Produced by David Widger. Modified by Robert Homa.





Edited by David Widger

Project Gutenberg Editions

Winston Churchill (1871-1947)

(The American Author who is not related to the British Sir Winston)

A Sketch of his Life and Work

This sketch was released by THE MACMILLAN COMPANY as part of a document to promote Churchill's 1913 novel, "The Inside of the Cup."

Mr. Winston Churchill, the author of "The Inside of the Cup," "The Modern Chronicle," "Mr. Crewe's Career," "Coniston," "Richard Carvel," "The Crisis," and "The Crossing," was born in St. Louis, Mo., November 10, 1871. He is the oldest son of Edwin Spaulding Churchill of Portland, Me., and Emma Bell Blaine, of St. Louis. The first sixteen years of his life he spent in his native city, which was in fact his home until he built Harlakenden House, his present residence at Cornish, N. H. In St. Louis, it will be remembered, the opening scenes of "The Crisis" are laid; and St. Louis again formed the objective point of Mr. Churchill's next novel, "The Crossing." From Smith Academy in St. Louis he went to the Naval Academy at Annapolis, Md.

Winston Churchill had not been a year at the Naval Academy before he became interested in American history and American problems, and before he finished his course he had made up his mind to devote his life and energies to these—not only with the pen, but as an active participant. Much of the atmosphere and some of the material for "Richard Carvel" he gathered while still a midshipman at the Naval Academy; and in the brief intervals between scientific studies and drills he began to read some of the history which he afterwards used.

He resigned from the Navy on his graduation, worked for a time on the Army and Navy Journal, and then joined the staff of The Cosmopolitan. While he lived at Irvington-on-the-Hudson, working steadily on the magazine, he continued his experience with fiction. He never tried to publish any of his first work, and it is not now in existence. That year (1895) he married Miss Mabel Harlakenden Hall, of St. Louis; and not long after established his home at Cornish.

He found himself at this time in a fairly enviable position. He was not obliged to spend his life doing hack-work, and could take abundant leisure to perfect any piece of writing which he undertook. However, he united with his rare good fortune much rare good sense. He best illustrated the familiar paradox that genius is a capacity for taking infinite pains. He approached his work with an inexhaustible patience, a dogged determination to be true to his own high exactions, both in style and substance.

Before he began "Richard Carvel," and also while it was on the stocks, he visited Virginia and Maryland, and studied the country and the old records with great thoroughness. He also read a vast amount of history and other literature which gave the spirit of the period. During the seven or eight months in '98 and '99, when he was writing the book from beginning to end for the fifth time, he was living on the Hudson, about thirty miles from New York. During those months he worked from breakfast to one o'clock, then for some hours after luncheon. Late in the afternoon he would take a long horseback ride, and after dinner he would go at his work again, continuing sometimes far into the night. In the midst of his work on "Richard Carvel," while he was staying at Lake George, he ran out of historical material, and wrote "The Celebrity." This novel was the subject of a great deal of comment on its first appearance in 1897, and many people still regard it as the brightest and most amusing and original piece of work which Mr. Churchill has done.

After finishing his work on "Richard Carvel," Mr. Churchill, in the spring of 1899, went to live at Cornish, N. H., where he had purchased a large farm on high ground on the banks of the Connecticut, just opposite Windsor, Vt. On the estate which he had bought Mr. Churchill then built Harlakenden House, which is modelled upon one of the mansions of Colonial Maryland. In 1913 Harlakenden House was selected by President Woodrow Wilson as his summer residence.

It was here that news of the great success of "Richard Carvel" came to Mr. Churchill.

The novel immediately became the most popular book in the United States, and was more widely read and discussed during its first year than has been the case with any other book ever published.

"Richard Carvel" contains the great historical figures of Charles James Fox and John Paul Jones. Perhaps the most thrilling and vividly written passage in the book is that which describes the memorable battle between the Bon Homme Richard and the Serapis. It was this that was accountable for the revival of interest in John Paul Jones and led to the finding of his burial place in France and to several biographies written largely under the stimulus of his character and personality as graphically revealed in "Richard Carvel."

Two or three years later "The Crisis" appeared. This time Mr. Churchill chose for his background the stirring days of the Civil War, through some of its most thrilling events his hero passes. He incidently painted supremely good pictures of Lincoln and Grant, showing how they grew out of the conditions that produced the crisis, and how they dominated it and brought it to such an issue that the country became better, greater and stronger for the cataclysm that had threatened to disrupt it. Like "Richard Carvel," "The Crisis" was dramatized, and opened its successful run on the stage a few months after the book's publication.

Mr. Churchill's next book, in the series of historical romances which he began with "Richard Carvel," is entitled "The Crossing" and was published in the spring of 1904. Its title refers to the crossing of the Alleghanies by the tide of the American immigration after the Revolutionary War. No annals in the world's history are more wonderful than the story of this conquest of Kentucky and Tennessee by the pioneers. In "The Crossing" Mr. Churchill caught the wonder of that adventurous phase in our early history and made of it what many consider his most delighting romance.

Meanwhile Mr. Churchill had become actively interested in politics. In the year 1903 he became a member of the New Hampshire Legislature. The direct outgrowth of Mr. Churchill's interest and experiences in politics were two important novels, "Coniston" and "Mr. Crewe's Career."

In "Coniston"—that great prose epic of political corruption as it existed in New England a generation or more ago—Mr. Churchill showed his ability to write of contemporary life with a vigor and understanding which were not surpassed in any of his other work. "Coniston" has a big, vital, political issue for background and a unique and dominant character for central interest. "Jethro Bass" was a farmer by origin, taciturn, inscrutable, with his streak of sardonic humor and his slight, unforgetable stammer, was heralded as the most important figure Mr. Churchill had ever drawn.

Two years later "Mr. Crewe's Career" was published, to meet with instant success. It was a further embodiment of Mr. Churchill's observations and experiences among the people of the political whirlpool, and showed his increasing power as a novelist of contemporary life. The business of politics, the sordid struggles of an election are described with a graphic pen. Rarely has an American author portrayed with such judicial calm and yet with such relentless realism, the sinister aspects of political life in a rural community or woven into this grimy fabric, in gold thread, a charming love story that goes far to make us forget the ugly and hateful features of the picture.

It will be seen how, since the publication of "Richard Carvel," Mr. Churchill's themes move in orderly sequence from Colonial days until each represents the actual life and atmosphere of distinct periods in American history. It was "A Modern Chronicle" that brought Mr. Churchill's work to the heart of the present. The new novel dealt with the social problems of the marriage condition, the imperfect civilization of ultra-fashionable life, with its frequent climax of divorce. Heretofore Mr. Churchill's leading characters are men, but in "A Modern Chronicle" he gives us a woman—Honora Leffingwell—fascinating, full of illogical moods and caprices, who, taken from start to finish, is a most consistent and convincing piece of characterization.

With the day of its publication, in 1910, "The Modern Chronicle" headed the list of "Books Most in Demand" at the libraries and the Bookman list of "Six Best Sellers" in almost every large city of this country. Its success was confined not only to this side of the water but in Great Britain, as well; the book was in great demand. These conditions were due to the fact of the author's established reputation with the great majority of American and English readers, and to the merits of a work which received almost unanimous appreciation from the press of both countries.

Three years have passed since the tremendous success of "A Modern Chronicle," and during this time Mr. Churchill has worked upon and completed the novel which, perhaps more than any other, will create discussion and admiration and go furthest to assure the author's reputation as the biggest literary figure in America to-day.

"The Inside of the Cup," Mr. Churchill's latest novel, may be rightly called the sum of his genius. It contains the same art of his former work, broadened, enriched and matured, and reflects the romance of "Richard Carvel," the realism of "Coniston," and the deep social significance of "A Modern Chronicle." From a masterly delineation of the personal history of a young clergyman and the transformation of his views and attitudes toward modern society, Mr. Churchill unfolds a powerful study of the present tendencies in the Church and their new relation to the life of to-day.

"The Inside of the Cup" is unquestionably the most impressive novel that Mr. Churchill has yet written, in character drawing and illuminative disclosures of the cross sections of society, and in the portrayal of their more delicate and crucial relation to conditions vital to the national welfare.


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