CHURCHILL, Sir Winston Spencer, letters, autographs, documents, manuscripts

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Unless otherwise indicated the image is of the most significant part of the object

CHURCHILL, Sir Winston Spencer (1874-1965).
Fine late photograph showing Churchill seated in casual yachting attire, with cigar, boldly signed in ink, ca 1961. The signature quite legible. 240 x 180 mm. (9½ x 7 inches). A note on the reverse indicates that the picture was taken on board the Christina during a tour of the West Indies in march / April 1961.
The Christina was commissioned by Aristotle Onassis in 1954 and named after his daughter. It was at the time the largest and most luxurious private yacht in the world.
As Churchill's mental and physical faculties decayed, he began to lose the battle he had fought for so long against the 'black dog' of depression. He found some solace in the sunshine and colours of the Mediterranean. He took long holidays with his literary adviser Emery Reves and his wife, Wendy Russell, at La Pausa, their villa on the French Riviera. Clementine, who was often herself in poor health and did not approve of Winston's growing affection for Wendy, seldom joined him on these excursions. He also took eight cruises aboard the yacht Christina as the guest of the Greek shipowner Aristotle Onassis. Once, when the Christina had to pass through the Dardanelles, Onassis gave instructions that it was to do so during the night, so as not to disturb his guest with unhappy memories.
[Paul Addison, 'Churchill, Sir Winston Leonard Spencer (1874-1965)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Sept 2004; online edition, May 2007.]
[No: 22923]


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