My Dear Mister Churchill - Walter GraebnerMichael Joseph, 1965, Hardback in Dust Wrapper.
Condition: Very Good — in Good Dust Wrapper. A little rubbing to the edges of the dust wrapper, more heavily at the head of the spine which is slightly frayed. Pages lightly age-tanned.
Illustrated by way of: Black & White Photographs;
From the cover: “Countless millions of words have been written about Winston Churchill but here for the first time is an account of the great man in his moments of relaxation without the cares of state to distract or worry him.
Written by a professional journalist who had the good luck to spend hundreds of hours with Churchill over a period of years, My Dear Mister Churchill is packed with anecdotes and descriptions of life at Chartwell, Chequers and 10 Downing Street, holidays in Morocco or the South of France, together with Churchill’s observations, never before recorded, on all manner of things from food and drink to marriage and the hereafter.
This is not a biography or an attempt to assess Sir Winston’s place in history: it is a warm, sympathetic story of the human side of ‘a man so great that another like him will not live in the next century, a man no-one could know without loving’.
The author describes himself as the ‘link man’ between Churchill’s office and the North American publishers during the preparation of the Memoirs and in that capacity he often acted as a kind of cross between a sounding board and courier for Sir Winston. During trips to America, for example, he shopped for special types of matches, cigars and toothpaste.
It is now known that Churchill suffered quite a serious stroke in 1953. A few days afterwards he told the author: ‘I must be sure that I can still master the House of Commons. I’m not worried about anything else, but if I can’t master the House I must not go on’.
On what it was like to meet Churchill, the author says: ‘no man tried harder to put even his least important visitors at their ease… A guest could relax, if he were wise enough to let Churchill dominate the proceedings completely’.
In summing up, the author writes that ‘everything about Churchill was on a larger and grander scale than is customary in ordinary mortals. There was a certain eclat even in his pottering around the fish-pond or passing the port to a guest at dinner.
‘What one felt perhaps most strongly was the impact of his vivid and extraordinary personality — his exuberant spirits, his fearlessness, his deep emotional capacity, his robust enjoyment of life and his stubborn refusal to compromise with the second-rate’.”