Free Public Lecture at National Churchill Museum Reveals Writer Side of Churchill
National Churchill Museum
The public can receive a rare look at Sir Winston Churchill as a writer by attending the 2013 Enid and R. Crosby Kemper Lecture at 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 3, at the Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Aldermanbury in the National Churchill Museum on the campus of Westminster College.
Cambridge Professor Peter Clarke explores this side of the legendary statesman in his lecture “Winston Churchill as Author,” which is based on the findings of his book, Mr. Churchill’s Profession: Statesman, Orator, Writer.
“In light of his significant achievements as a political leader and statesman, many people are unaware that Churchill was a prolific and recognized author,” says Dr. Rob Havers, Executive Director of the National Churchill Museum, which is hosting the lecture. “After all, he won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1953.”
Havers points out that writing was always a part of Churchill’s life.
“Churchill began filing newspaper reports when he was a junior officer in the British Army and after he left the service, became one of the most highly paid newspaper correspondents when he was contracted to report on the Boer War,” says Havers. “Throughout his long public career, Churchill was constantly writing articles and books and these endeavors helped him both to supplement his income and to ensure his political position was well represented in the news.”
Churchill was contracted to write A History of the English-Speaking Peoples in 1932 for what would have been one million pounds in today’s currency, but the multi-volume reflection was not completed for almost a quarter of a century and finally was published in 1956-58.
Some of his other work includes his memoir My Early Life; a multi-volume biography of his ancestor, the Duke of Marlborough; and a five volume history of World War I. In total, Churchill wrote 43 book-length works that encompassed 72 volumes.
This year’s lecturer, Dr. Peter Frederick Clarke, was educated at the University of Cambridge where he served as Professor of Modern British History (1991-2004) and a Fellow of St. John’s College (1980-2000). From 2000-2004 he was the Master of Trinity Hall College, Cambridge, and now serves as an Honorary Fellow. He also serves as a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and a Fellow of the British Academy.
Clarke has written ten books, which include Hope and Glory: Britain 1900-1990, Volume 9 of The Penguin History of Britain and The Last Thousand Days of the British Empire.
Following the lecture, Clarke will hold a book signing and a reception will follow in the National Churchill Museum.
The Enid & R. Crosby Kemper Lectureship was established in 1979 by a grant from the Crosby Kemper Foundation of Kansas City, Missouri. It is intended to provide for lectures by authorities on British History or Sir Winston Churchill at the Winston Churchill Memorial and Library in the United States at Westminster.
The established Lectureship is held under the auspices of the British Institute of the United States and the National Churchill Museum.
The National Churchill Museum on the campus of Westminster College in Fulton, MO is the only North American institution fully devoted to immortalizing the life and work of Churchill. The heart of the Museum is the magnificent Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Aldermanbury, a 17th century Christopher Wren church left in ruin from German bombings during World War II. This beautiful house of worship was brought stone by stone from England to Westminster and restored on campus in 1969.
Beneath the Church is a state-of-the-art Museum that combines interactive technology to tell Churchill’s story through sight, sound and touch. In 2006, Chris Matthews, MSNBC commentator, was present at the opening of this new $4 million exhibition and said its ability to bring history to life in a dynamic, stimulating fashion was incredible and that it rivaled that of the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C.
Adjacent to the National Churchill Museum stands a sculpture by Edwina Sandys, Churchill’s granddaughter, entitled “Breakthrough,” which was constructed from eight sections of the Berlin Wall to commemorate the demise of the “Iron Curtain” that Sir Winston had predicted. Visitors may also enjoy the historic gymnasium where Churchill delivered his world famous “Iron Curtain Speech” in 1946 on another part of campus.
The National Churchill Museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and every first Thursday of the month observes extended hours until 7 p.m. Regular admission prices are Adults-$6, Seniors-$5, College Students and Youth-$4, Children (6-11)-$3, and Children (5 and under)-free. For more information about the National Churchill Museum, visit www.nationalchurchillmuseum.org.