Keeping Churchill on the straight and narrow The Independent Take a look at an interesting article we found.
That old bulldog spirit Globe and Mail Take a look at an interesting article we found.
Churchill made last-minute changes to 'finest hour' speech BBC News Take a look at an interesting article we found.
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June 22, 2010
But a new examination of his newly released drafts, at Cambridge University’s Churchill Archives Centre, shows how much blood, sweat and tears he put into it.
These revealing papers, made public for the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, showed how he agonized over every famous phrase, leaving his private secretary unimpressed, and his wife beside herself.
His writings went through many changes – the first dictated to his secretaries and then revised in longhand, using red and blue ink for last minute revisions.
Just before the phrase, "The Battle of France is over. The Battle of Britain is about to begin," he added in his own red pen, at the last moment, "all shall be restored."
On the threat of the Luftwaffe, instead of the risk of ‘grievous damage,’ he highlighted the power of the RAF.
He made sure each change set a more positive tone.
While the speech helped rejuvenate the nation, the papers show his passion never reached his aforementioned private secretary Sir Jock Colville.
Colville wrote in his private diary at the time:
"It was too long and he sounded tired. He spoke less well than on the last occasion and he referred more to his notes...he smoked a cigar all the time he was broadcasting."
Judging by the severity of the situation —France had capitulated and Britain was facing the prospect of attack and invasion— it was amazing Churchill laid off his beloved brandy.
Max Arthur, author of the just published “Last of the Few,” said:
“This is a colossal speech, the way he evolved it...realizing more than any other Prime Minister before him just what impact this would have on the Nation.”
Then there was the matter of his wife.
Written two weeks after the speech, Clementine Churchill continues:
"...One of the men in your entourage, a devoted friend, has been to me and told me there is a danger of your being generally disliked by your colleagues and subordinates because of your rough, sarcastic and overbearing manner...”
She ends her letter by saying: "You will not get the best results by irascibility and rudeness, they will breed either dislike or a slave mentality."
She might have been the unsung hero in all of this, keeping "The Lion" focused on savaging the enemy instead of his own men.
Allen Packwood, archives director, on this newly released information:
"What you can see here is his self-belief, his determination, his humanity, that leads us on from the dark days of 1940 to final victory in 1945."
Among the hundreds of last minute changes, Sir Winston never tampered with the ending:
“Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, 'This was their finest hour.'
How to Give a Speech wittcom.com Take a look at an interesting article we found.
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Most stirring speech?