View full screen - View 1 of Lot 26. CHURCHILL | autograph letter signed, to Pamela Plowden, 1900.
26

CHURCHILL | autograph letter signed, to Pamela Plowden, 1900

Margin Scheme

Estimate:

15,000

to
- 20,000 GBP

CHURCHILL | autograph letter signed, to Pamela Plowden, 1900

CHURCHILL | autograph letter signed, to Pamela Plowden, 1900

Estimate:

15,000

to
- 20,000 GBP

Lot sold:

27,500

GBP

CHURCHILL, SIR WINSTON


AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED ("WINSTON"), TO PAMELA PLOWDEN


A REMARKABLE, EBULLIENT LETTER WRITTEN DURING THE BOER WAR AFTER THE BRITISH DEFEAT AT SPION KOP ("...We have had ... another serious reverse: having lost some 70 officers & 1500 men to little purpose..."), assuring her that this has not dented his confidence in ultimate British victory, admitting the personal danger he has faced ("...I had five very dangerous days - continually under shell & rifle fire and once the feather in my hat was cut through with a bullet. But in the end I came serenely through..."), explaining his decision to join the South African Light Horse, writing of his worry about his brother Jack, and of his mother's arrival in a hospital ship ("...The Marie will take 200 shattered creatures to be nursed into life again..."), although lamenting that Plowden did not accompany her, 8 pages, 8vo, Government House, Natal, 28 January 1900, autograph envelope


"...I am sure I am doing what is right from the largest point of view and am careless what may result - but I have a good belief that I am to be of some use and therefore to be spared..."

A letter by Churchill to his first love that reveals his supreme self-confidence, coolness under fire, and appetite for danger. In the previous three months he had been taken prisoner, escaped, and taken a military commission in the South African Light Horse - whilst remaining a war correspondent (the normal rules rarely applied to Churchill). Just five days before writing this letter Churchill had taken part in a failed British attack on Boer forces that had tried to break the Siege of Ladysmith, where "the scenes ... were among the strangest and most terrible I have ever witnessed". Despite, this, he assures her, "I am really enjoying myself immensely". Churchill remained in South Africa until the tide of war had turned in favour of the British, much as he had foreseen. By June of 1900, however, Churchill's thoughts were of Britain; as he put it in a letter to his mother, "Politics, Pamela, finances and books all need my attention." He proposed marriage to Pamela Plowden on his return. She turned him down, but the two were to remain lifelong friends.  


PROVENANCE:

Christie's, London, 2 December 2003, lot 50


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The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.