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Winston Churchill (novelist)

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Title: Winston Churchill (novelist)  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Publishers Weekly list of bestselling novels in the United States in the 1900s, Publishers Weekly list of bestselling novels in the United States in the 1910s, The Celebrity, Winston Churchill (novelist), Harlakenden
Collection: 1871 Births, 1947 Deaths, 19Th-Century American Novelists, 20Th-Century American Novelists, American Essayists, American Historical Novelists, American Male Novelists, American People of English Descent, Male Essayists, New Hampshire Progressives (1912), New Hampshire Republicans, People from St. Louis, Missouri, United States Naval Academy Alumni, Writers from Missouri, Writers from New Hampshire
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Winston Churchill (novelist)

Winston Churchill
Portrait of Winston Churchill, by Haeseler, 1908
Born (1871-11-10)November 10, 1871
St. Louis, Missouri
Died March 12, 1947(1947-03-12) (aged 75)
Winter Park, Florida
Occupation Novelist, Writer
Nationality American

Winston Churchill (November 10, 1871 – March 12, 1947) was an American novelist and was one of the best selling novelists of the early 20th century.

He is nowadays overshadowed, even as a writer, by the very much more famous British statesman of the same name, with whom he was acquainted, but not related. Their lives had some interesting parallels.


  • Biography 1
  • Confusion with the British statesman 2
  • Bibliography 3
    • Novels 3.1
    • Other writings 3.2
  • References 4
  • Further reading 5
  • External links 6


Churchill was born in Army and Navy Journal. He resigned from the navy to pursue a writing career. In 1895, he became managing editor of the Cosmopolitan Magazine, but in less than a year he retired from that, to have more time for writing.[1] While he would be most successful as a novelist, he was also a published poet and essayist.

His first novel to appear in book form was The Celebrity (1898). However, Mr. Keegan's Elopement had been published in 1896 as a magazine serial and was republished as an illustrated hardback book in 1903. Churchill's next novel—Richard Carvel (1899)—was a phenomenal success, selling some two million copies in a nation of only 76 million people, and made him rich. His next two novels, The Crisis (1901) and The Crossing (1904), were also very successful.

Churchill's early novels were historical, but his later works were set in contemporary America. He often sought to include his political ideas into his novels.

In 1898, a mansion designed by Charles Platt was built for Churchill in Cornish, New Hampshire. In 1899, Churchill moved there and named it Harlakenden House. He became involved in the Cornish Art Colony and went into politics, being elected to the state legislature in 1903 and 1905.[2] In 1906 he unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination for governor of New Hampshire. In 1912, he was nominated as the Progressive candidate for governor but did not win the election and did not seek public office again. In 1917, he toured the battlefields of World War I and wrote about what he saw, his first non-fiction work.

Sometime after this move, he took up painting in watercolors and became known for his landscapes. Some of his works are in the collections of the Hood Museum of Art (part of Hopkins Center for the Arts at Dartmouth College) in Hanover, New Hampshire, and the Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site in Cornish, New Hampshire.

In 1919, Churchill decided to stop writing and withdrew from public life. As a result of this he was gradually forgotten by the public. In 1940, The Uncharted Way, his first book in twenty years, was published. The book examined Churchill's thoughts on religion. He did not seek to publicize the book and it received little attention. Shortly before his death he said, "It is very difficult now for me to think of myself as a writer of novels, as all that seems to belong to another life."

Churchill died in Winter Park, Florida in 1947. He was predeceased in 1945 by his wife of fifty years, the former Mabel Harlakenden Hall.[3] They had three children, including their son Creighton Churchill, a well-known writer on wines.[4][5] His great-grandson is the Albany, New York, journalist Chris Churchill.

Confusion with the British statesman

Churchill met and occasionally communicated with the British statesman and author Winston Churchill (no known relation). It was the American Churchill who became famous earlier, and in the 1890s he was much better known than his British counterpart. The two are still occasionally confused, mostly by sellers of second-hand books, although the British Churchill wrote only one novel, Savrola, being better known for his popular histories and journalism.

Both Churchills had political careers, and were both noted amateur painters. The similarities extend to their tertiary education; both attended service colleges and briefly served (during the same period) as officers in their respective countries' armed forces. One was a naval, the other an army officer.[6]

The British Churchill, upon becoming aware of the American Churchill's books, wrote to him suggesting that he would sign his own works "Winston Spencer Churchill", using his middle name (actually part of his full surname, "Spencer-Churchill") to differentiate them. This suggestion was accepted, with the comment that the American Churchill would have done the same, had he any middle names.[7][8] In practice this was abbreviated to "Winston S. Churchill" - which remained the British Churchill's pen name.



Other writings

  • Richard Carvel; Play produced on Broadway, (1900–1901)
  • The Crisis; Play produced on Broadway, (1902)
  • The Crossing; Play produced on Broadway, (1906)
  • The Title Mart; Play produced on Broadway, (1906)
  • A Traveller In War-Time (1918)
  • Dr. Jonathan; A play in three acts (1919)
  • The Psychology of the Gospel Doctrine


  1. ^  Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1922). "Churchill, Winston".  
  2. ^ "CHURCHILL, Winston". Who's Who, 59: p. 335. 1907. 
  3. ^ (28 May 1945). MRS. WINSTON CHURCHILL; Wife of American Novelist Dies in New Hampshire, The New York Times
  4. ^ (1 December 1984). Creighton Churchill Is Dead; Wine Writer and Consultant, The New York Times
  5. ^ Couture, Michael (22 February 1972). Creighton Churchill: A wine taster par excellence, Boca Raton News
  6. ^ Dockter, Warren (Oct 2011). "The Tale of Two Winstons". The Historian 111: 10–13. 
  7. ^ The Age October 19, 1940, hosted on Google News. "Two Winston Churchills". Retrieved 25 October 2013. 
  8. ^ My Early Life – 1874–1904, hosted on Google Books. Oldham. Retrieved 25 October 2013. 

Further reading

  • Charles Child Walcutt, The Romantic Compromise in the Novels of Winston Churchill (1951)
  • Warren Irving Titus, Winston Churchill (1963)
  • Ernest Erwin Leisy, The American Historical Novel (1950)
  • Grant C. Knight, The Strenuous Age in American Literature (1954)
  • Joseph L. Blotner, The Political Novel (1955)
  • Robert W. Schneider, Novelist to a Generation: The Life and Thought of Winston Churchill (1976)

External links

  • That Other Winston Churchill at the Wayback Machine (archived February 11, 2007), from The Churchill Centre
  • The American Winston Churchill
  • Winston Churchill
  • Coniston (1906) study guide
  • The Churchill Society
  • History buff recounts tale of two Churchills
  • Works by Winston Churchill at Project Gutenberg
  • Works by or about Winston Churchill at Internet Archive
  • Works by Winston Churchill at LibriVox (public domain audiobooks)
  • Works by Winston Churchill at
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