Meeting Churchill

I have a confession to make: I haven’t read a book in months. I got bogged down in Patrick Rothfuss’ The Name of the Wind–a book that started off well enough, but got so tedious three-quarters of the way through that I couldn’t force myself to go on. It took me a long time to admit I wasn’t going to listen to the last six or so hours of the audiobook; I just kept choosing podcasts or music on my commutes. But as long as there was a chance of picking it up again, I didn’t want to get involved with anything else. Yesterday, I finally dumped it from my sync list, in hopes of making way for something new.

And just like that, a genuine urge to read something sprang up. I was reflecting that it was the one-year anniversary of the day we toured Bletchley Park. I was touched to “meet” Alan Turing:

And impressed to see his amazing creation:

But I was really overawed to meet Winston Churchill:


Churchill is a problematic character, of course–it goes with the genius territory. But if we only admire people who never once put a foot wrong or hold no opinions contrary to ours, or have no faults or foibles, well, who would we admire? My thing with Churchill boils down to this: he carried Britain through the darkest hours of World War II on the strength of language. When all of Western Europe had fallen, and Britain stood alone against the forces of Hitler, Churchill’s masterful oratory inspired Britain to persevere.

A tour of my dusty, neglected bookshelves turned up the first two volumes of William Manchester’s massive Churchill biography, The Last Lion, and I am resolved to get stuck in. It’s time to get behind the speeches, the quips, the quotable Winston, and meet the man behind the legend.

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2 Responses to Meeting Churchill

  1. Bear says:

    I love the reminders of the photos, and it get’s me thinking how much you might have enjoyed the Bunkers in Whitehall. Maybe next time? We also absolutely must get you to Blenheim!

    I also appreciate your view of people that we admire and respect. We are, all of us, quirky and flawed. Yet that does not diminish our beauty and brilliance. In fact, it is often an integral part of it.

    I hope that you enjoy the life and language of one of the greatest men of my adopted nation’s history- but also one of my personal heros as well.

  2. kaizerin says:

    Yes, we should have included the CWR–and I would dearly love to visit both Blenheim and Chartwell! On the list for next time!

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