William Manchester has been very industrious in collecting stories about my uncle, Winston Churchill, and some entertaining ones from what my uncle would have called the Servants (“The Lion Caged,” February/March issue).
I do not think that any compilation of Churchilliana, however well done—and Mr. Manchester’s extract is very readable —can ever give a true picture of the man. There is so much falsehood mixed up with the truth.
To begin with he was not neglected by his parents any more than he was a dunce at school. These were myths he invented himself. He was a very naughty and objectionable little boy, and both his parents were very concerned with his welfare, more so than he ever was with his own children at the same age.
He admired his father enormously and based his political career on what he believed to be his father’s philosophy. Without his mother’s support, and correction, he would never have advanced so rapidly. Living twice as long as his father, he was able to make twice as many mistakes and reached greater triumphs and greater depressions.
No one will ever understand my uncle’s character and what made him tick unless he digs down to the roots. Napoleon had a remarkable mother but insignificant father. My uncle had a very remarkable mother and outstanding father.
No biography will ever be complete without a true account of my uncle’s parents and their influence. It would make an extraordinary and inspiring story.