CHURCHILL, Sir Winston Spencer (1874-1965). Autograph letter signed ('Winston S Churchill', and initialed postscript), to his mother ('Darling Mummy'), on headed paper, 'The Head Master's. Harrow.' [n.d., ?November 1890], 2 pages, 8vo.
'I am getting on all right & am learning lots each day': a rare letter from Churchill's early school days. Writing to his mother, Lady Randolph (née Jennie Jerome), Churchill addresses her in affectionate terms ('darling mummy ... I now send you my youthfull love and remain your loving son ...'), but their distant relationship meant she rarely visited him at boarding school. A rebellious child, and generally regarded as having performed badly at school, Churchill had arrived at Harrow in April 1888, where he was placed in the bottom form of the school. However by the time he wrote this letter, at the age of sixteen, he was working hard towards the Preliminary Examination for Sandhurst, which he passed in all subjects, 'one line to tell you I am well -- working -- happy tho' very tired'.
Churchill informs his mother that he has written to Lady Wilton and to 'Papa'; Lord Randolph was staying with Lady Wilton at Le Nid, on his way to Egypt where he remained until late January (Lady Wilton replied to Churchill's letter on 28 November, 'your papa left yesterday', see Gilbert, I, p.216). In a postscript, signed with flourished initials, Churchill requests his mother to 'send Everest down ... because she can help me in some work -- (if convenient)'. Churchill had formed a deep attachment to his nanny, Elizabeth Ann Everest (1833-1895), whom he nicknamed 'Woom' or 'Woomany', and invited to Harrow where 'he showed her around the school and walked arm in arm with her up the High Street while other boys jeered at him' (ODNB). Published in Martin Gilbert, Winston S. Churchill, vol.I, Companion (Randolph S. Churchill), Part 1 (1967), pp.215-6.