EXPLOREMY LIBRARY
News & Politics
Finest Hour

Finest Hour

First Quarter 2020

Winston Churchill was one of the greatest statesmen in world history – widely revered, sometime reviled and universally recognized for his tenacious leadership. Finest Hour, the Journal of Winston Churchill, is the flagship publication of The Churchill Centre. Each quarterly issue is packed with expert analysis and insightful discussion from prominent authors, historians, and journalists on all aspects of Churchill’s life and times. Finest Hour dispels the myths, explores the rousing speeches, and reviews the most interesting books, all thoughtfully written, thoroughly researched, and presented by a team of experts. Your digital Finest Hour subscription also includes membership in The Churchill Centre. As part of your digital membership you receive full access to all of our premium website content, a free subscription to the monthly email newsletter of Winston Churchill, Chartwell Bulletin, discounts to Churchill sites in Britain, and invitations to special events.

Country:
United States
Language:
English
Publisher:
The Churchill Centre
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4 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
from the editor

Churchill and Blenheim To understand Winston Churchill, it is necessary to visit Blenheim Palace. While Chartwell is the house with which he is most closely associated, Churchill did not purchase his estate in Kent until he was nearly fifty. The ducal lifestyle of Victorian Britain and Blenheim, where he was born and spent much time throughout his formative years, were the factors that shaped the man. In exploring these themes, we are honored to have His Grace the twelfth Duke of Marlborough introduce this issue. Churchill himself wrote about the establishment of the family seat during the reign of Queen Anne when he composed his multi-volume biography of his illustrious ancestor John Churchill, the first Duke of Marlborough. The seventh Duke sat in residence when his grandson Winston was born in a…

1 min.
letters

18 August 1908 BLENHEIM—My dear Winston, Your letter has given me much pleasure and a great deal of satisfaction. It is indeed a joy to feel that you are happy, and that you realise that in ensuring the content of another being, lies in no small degree the solace and also the enjoyment of life. I earnestly hope that your life and Clementine’s may be unclouded, and that the only source of contention between you during the years in front, may be which of you two loves each other the better. You are rich in many things, in friends, in health, ability, and true worth is to be found not in the quantity of one’s possessions, but in the capacity for limitation of one’s personal requirements. She herself Clementine is surrounded by…

2 min.
the antiquity of woodstock

In the opening paragraphs of his biography of his father, Lord Randolph Churchill (1905), Winston Churchill describes the environs of Blenheim Palace. The cumulative labors of [architect Sir John] Vanbrugh and [landscape architect Lancelot] “Capability” Brown have succeeded at Blenheim in setting an Italian palace in an English park without apparent incongruity. The combination of these different ideas, each singly attractive, produces a remarkable effect. The palace is severe in its symmetry and completeness. Nothing has been added to the original plan; nothing has been taken away. The approaches are formal; the wings are balanced; four equal towers maintain its corners; and the fantastic ornaments of one side are elaborately matched on the other. Natural simplicity and even confusion are, on the contrary, the characteristic of the park and gardens. Instead of…

1 min.
introduction

His Grace the Duke of Marlborough was born in Oxford on 24 November 1955 and educated at Harrow School and the Royal Agricultural College. He was styled the Earl of Sunderland until the death of his grandfather, the tenth duke, in 1972 and thereafter was styled the Marquess of Blandford until succeeding his father, the eleventh Duke, in 2014. His Grace married Edla Griffiths in 2002. Together the Duke and Duchess have two children, and His Grace has one son from a previous marriage.…

7 min.
the first duke and blenheim palace

In his multi-volume biography of his ancestor John Churchill, the first Duke of Marlborough, published from 1933 to 1938 as Marlborough: His Life and Times, Winston Churchill described the creation of the ancestral seat. The background: during the War of the Spanish Succession (1701–14), King Louis XIV of France and the Elector of Bavaria sought to knock Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I out of the war by seizing Vienna in the summer of 1704 and gaining a favorable peace settlement. This plan ended in failure in August with the catastrophic defeat of French and Bavarian forces at the Battle of Blenheim at the hands of British and Austrian armies led by the Duke of Marlborough and Prince Eugene of Savoy. The battle altered the course of the war, which nevertheless continued…

6 min.
the seventh duke of marlborough

John Winston Spencer-Churchill was born on 2 June 1822 at Garboldisham Hall, Norfolk. He was the eldest son of George Spencer-Churchill, the sixth Duke of Marlborough, and Lady Jane Stewart, who was the daughter of the eighth Earl of Galloway. From his birth until the death of his grandfather—the fifth duke—in 1840, John held the family courtesy title Earl of Sunderland. This changed when he became first in line to succeed to the dukedom and was raised to the courtesy title Marquess of Blandford. John Spencer-Churchill was educated at Eton and then Oriel College, Oxford. He served as a lieutenant in the 1st Oxfordshire yeomanry in 1843. On 12 July of that same year, he married Lady Frances Anne Emily Vane, eldest daughter of the third Marquess of Londonderry. The young Spencer-Churchills…