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    Sale 5315

    Fine Printed Books & Manuscripts including Modern First Editions

    13 November 2008, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 298

    CHURCHILL, Sir Winston Spencer (1874-1965). Two autograph letters signed to Victor, 2nd Earl of Lytton, 105 Mount Street, London, 17 and 20 July [1901], together 11 pages, 8vo. Provenance: Victor, 2nd Earl of Lytton; and by descent.

    Price Realised  

    CHURCHILL, Sir Winston Spencer (1874-1965). Two autograph letters signed to Victor, 2nd Earl of Lytton, 105 Mount Street, London, 17 and 20 July [1901], together 11 pages, 8vo. Provenance: Victor, 2nd Earl of Lytton; and by descent.

    ROBUST ADVICE ON ENTERING A LIFE IN POLITICS. The first of the two letters suggests the possibility of obtaining for Lytton the chairmanship of the London Municipal Society, 'a position closely connected with local & national politics in London': a number of Churchill's contacts are willing to lend support. In the second letter, Victor is intending to take the Foreign Office examination, but Churchill hopes that 'you will not waste precious time in the Foreign Office, drudging to no purpose either diplomatic or political', explaining that Victor's name opens much greater prospects, and offering to advise him: 'there is more work waiting for you when you choose to put your hand to the plough, than you can possibly do'. Churchill suggests the London County Council as a possibility, with the imminent issues of 'Housing, Traction, and Water', which will involve co-operation between the council and Parliament: 'All this would give you occupation & instruction too. You would moreover instead of wandering doggedly down cul-de-sacs be on the high road. It is a very long road, and you have already let many of your contemporaries get in front of you. Under these circumstances I shall congratulate you if you fail [the examination]'. The letter ends with an invitation to a 'cheery party' at Westminster, where George Wyndham will turn upon Victor his 'healthy scorn and chaff for young men who spend all their lives outside the battle, making themselves perfectly fitted for the fray'.
    (2)


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