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Part III of III: How Many Books Did Winston Churchill Write?

Part III of III: How Many Books Did Winston Churchill Write?

In 1974, in Sword and Pen: A Survey of the Writings of Sir Winston Churchill, author Mannfred Weidhorn listed 33 books written by Winston Churchill. This was nine years after Churchill’s death, so you’d think the listing would be comprehensive. But it isn’t. There are more. Here we go.

1940: Addresses Delivered in the Year Nineteen Hundred and Forty to the People of Great Britain, of France, and to the Members of the English House of Commons, by the Prime Minister, Winston Churchill. (1940) Includes five speeches, including the “Blood, toil, tears, and sweat” speech, and the “Never was so much owed by so many to so few” speech.  Only 250 copies printed, but it’s a book!

1941: Broadcast Addresses to the Peoples of Great Britain, Italy, Poland, Russia, and the United States, by the Prime Minister of the British Empire, Winston Churchill MCMXL – MCMXLI. (1941) Six more speeches. Again, only 250 copies printed.

1946: War Speeches 1940-1945 (1946) – collects selected speeches from speech volumes published in these years.

28A: Painting as a Pastime (1948) – An essay, originally published in 1921, put in book form.

1952: The War Speeches: 1938-1945 (1952) (3 volumes) – High quality paper was at a premium during the war, so the various speech books were printed on cheap paper. This fine edition remedies that.

1960: Frontiers and Wars (1960) – A one-volume abridgement of young Winston’s war reporting. Abridges items 1-2, 4-5 above. Churchill, 86 years old, had nothing to do with the book’s editing.

1972: Young Winston’s Wars (1972) – Churchill’s first four war books were based on his war dispatches. This book contains the original dispatches. Published 7 years after his death.

1974. If I Lived My Life Again (1974) – Published on the centennial of his birth, a compilation of various writings by Churchill. Created to raise money for approved charities.

1974: The Complete Speeches 1897-1963 (1974) (8 volumes) – Makes available 9,000 pages of Churchillian speeches, 80% of which never appeared in the 18 previous speech books or two war speech collections!

1976: The Collected Essays (1976) (4 volumes) – Newspaper, magazine, and book essays and articles not published in the previous books.

One can make a case that the one-volume abridgement of his various multi-volume works constitute separate works, as they involve quite different, in some cases vastly different, reading experiences. But putting that aside, we now have 43 books and 73 volumes. Of course, if you’re a completist, you need the UK AND US editions, as well as the abridgements, the special limited edition publications, and whatever else publishers can think of.  If you can find and afford the 8-volume speech collection, you can skip the twenty earlier speech volumes. Read the abridged major works, thereby cutting out 18 more, and now you’re down to just 35 volumes to read. But that’s just silly. Winston went to the trouble to write them all. We can try to read them. To do less wouldn’t be cricket. Working at Sir Winston’s pace, we’ll only need 66 years to do it, with time out for champagne, cigars, and saving democracy.

You can find more information from real authorities (and not just a dabbler) at these websites:

Don’t have $100,000 – $250,000 for a complete set of fine/near fine condition, signed and inscribed books? Maybe you can get some decent reading copies for much less. Here’s how:

Oh, once you’ve finished, move on to Oscar Wilde. A signed Picture of Dorian Gray, all by itself, can cost $100,000.