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News From the Front

October 4, 2010

WINSTON CHURCHILL'S YOUNGER BROTHER

A Visit to N.Y.C. by Jack Churchill's Biographers

WINSTON CHURCHILL'S YOUNGER BROTHER

JOHN STRANGE SPENCER CHURCHILL (always known as Jack) was Winston Churchill's younger brother by just over five years, the only other child of Lord and Lady Randolph Churchill. After a successful school career at Harrow (his brother's alma mater) and service in both the Boer War (where he was wounded) and the First World War, it was Jack Churchill’s dearest wish to follow his adored older brother into a military career. The family’s ruined financial state, however, in the wake of Randolph Churchill’s passing, caused Jennie Churchill to press her youngest son into the service of Sir Ernest Cassell, there to “make millions” as a stockbroker. Jack and Winston Churchill remained devoted to one another until Jack’s passing in 1947. 

It has taken more than sixty years for Jack Churchill to receive a full-length biography. The British historians, Celia and John Lee, finally remedied this oversight with an admirable work published in the U.K. last year as WINSTON AND JACK: The Churchill Brothers, and in the U.S. this year under the perhaps more commercially viable title, THE CHURCHILLS: A Family Portrait. This week, the Lees arrive in New York for a pair of private literary luncheons and one public lecture in support of their book. On Wednesday, the 6th of October, they will be the focus of a luncheon at The Lotos Club; the following day The University Club will host another luncheon in their honor. That evening, Thursday, the 7th of October, at Hunter College's Danny Kaye Playhouse on East 68th Street, the Lees will deliver a lecture at 6.30 P.M. as part of the Tina Santi Flaherty Irish Voices Literary Series sponsored by The Writing Center at Hunter College. It is free and open to the public.

Our inventory actually includes two books from Jack Churchill's private library: a copy of William Nicholson's THE BOOK OF BLOKES inscribed to Jack Churchill by the artist, and early edition copies of Charles Darwin's THE ORIGIN OF SPECIES & THE DESCENT OF MAN. All three contain the bookplate of Winston Churchill's beloved younger brother.

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