19 May 2004
SIR WINSTON SPENCER CHURCHILL (1874-1965)
Two autograph letters signed and two letters signed to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, 105 Mount Street, Board of Trade and n.p., 27 October 1900 - 1 July 1929, together 2 pages, 8vo, in autograph, and 3 pages, 8vo, typescript or in a secretarial hand (traces of mounts).
A lecture, a dinner, the Congo and the Great War. In the earliest letter, Churchill is prompted by Conan Doyle's lecture agent, Gerald Christy, to hope that the writer will agree to take the chair for a lecture he is to give; in the following year he invites Conan Doyle to dinner with 'Percy, Hugh Cecil ... and a few others' at the House of Commons. In an undated letter from the Board of Trade, Churchill declares himself pleased that Conan Doyle has 'turned your attention to the Congo', and offers to help, commenting too on rumours that there is to be a new British Consul General in Berlin. The last letter declares his pleasure in accepting a copy of Conan Doyle's British Campaign in Europe 1914-1918 and meekly accepts criticisms of his pronouncements about the Battles of Mons and Le Cateau, 'and my phrase about Haig was too sweeping'.
The lecture referred to in 1900 took place at the Exeter Hall - Churchill's letter to Adrian Conan Doyle (lot 98) includes a reminiscence of the occasion. (4)
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