London, South Kensington
28 November 2011
CHURCHILL, Winston Spencer (1874-1965). Autograph letter signed ('Winston S. Churchill') to 'Darling Old Woom' [his nanny, Mrs Elizabeth Everest], The Head Master's, Harrow, n.d. [?September 1891], send news on his arrival at school, expressing satisfaction with his quarters ('My room is very pretty'), and pleasure at having space to himself, asking Everest to take care of various tasks for him, including looking after a 'Big Blue overcoat', two postal orders and some glasses which need mending, as well as two [tie-]pins ('I have ... the case of the Pink Pearl but no pin'), and concluding 'Please write me a long letter & tell me all the news', four pages, 8vo, bifolium.
It would be hard to overstate the importance of Mrs Everest to Churchill's early life: in the absence of a close relationship with his parents she was, until her death in 1894, 'the principal confidante of his joys, his troubles, and his hopes ... Mrs Everest was not only the friend and companion of his youth, schooldays and early manhood; she remained warmly cherished in his memory throughout his life' (Churchill, I, p.35). In a famous incident, he insisted on walking arm in arm with her up Harrow High Street, to the jeers of his fellow schoolboys.
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