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3 December 2010
CHURCHILL, Winston S. Typed letter signed ("Winston S. Churchill") to Percy Cudlipp (1905-1962), Chartwell, 10 July 1937. 1 page, 4to, Chartwell stationery.
A VAIN CHURCHILL COMPLAINS ABOUT "THE DISGUSTING PHOTOGRAPH YOU PICKED OUT TO SHOW HOW MUCH OLDER I AM..."
Sixty-two year old Winston Churchill doesn't like the way a photographer for the Evening Standard captured his likeness at the coronation of King George VI, and complains to the paper's editor, even offering some more flattering alternate images. "If you will kindly look at the disgusting photograph you picked out to show how much older I am now than at the previous Coronation, and compare it with these, you will be [ashamed] of yourself. I suggest you should give me a second chance with a real contemporary picture, instead of joining in the general campaign to make me an elder statesman and send me to the knackers!" More than just an amusing glimpse at Churchill's vanity, this letter shows the depths to which his political fortunes had sunk by the late 1930s. To many he was indeed just an elderly, washed-up relic of a bygone era. That perception changed only slowly as the Hitler menace loomed, and a vigorous Churchill seemed the only man to meet the threat. Provenance: Sotheby's, London, 18 December 1985, lot 234
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