CHURCHILL, Sir Winston Spencer (1874-1965).
Typescripts and proofs of sections of The Second World War, with autograph corrections by Churchill, with related material, 1950-1951. Containing significant amounts of text not present in the published work and comprising:
1) the first two autograph and typescript pages from an early draft of the 'Casablanca Conference' chapter in Volume IV (Book II, Chapter XXXVIII in the published version), comprising: an autograph title-page by Churchill in red ink ('Volume IV Book I / Chapter. / The Casablanca Conference'), numbered '7' at the top and with a note to the printer requesting 12 copies; and the first typescript page, with autograph deletions, corrections and insertions by Churchill in blue ball-point, the first line entirely autograph ('All our great affairs marched forward together'), followed by 19 lines of text which do not appear in the published version, including the only reference in this volume, in either draft or printed form, to his famous Mansion House speech of November 1942 ('"The End of the Beginning" was at hand.' [the initials corrected to capitals by Churchill]); together 2 pages 4to, undated [but probably spring 1950] (slightly creased and smudged)
The historian William Deakin, an Oxford don turned special operations officer who led the mission to Tito described in Volume V of The Second World War, was the linchpin of the team employed by Churchill to research, draft, rewrite, organise and check the material for his war memoirs. This core team, known as the Syndicate, also included the retired General Sir Henry Pownall (the former Vice-Chief of the Imperial General Staff, who had privileged access to official papers and Ultra intelligence), the wartime Military Secretary to the Cabinet, Lord Ismay, and the young barrister Denis Kelly, who had been employed as Churchill's archivist at Chartwell.
David Reynolds, in his introduction to In Command of History: Churchill Fighting and Writing the Second World War (2004), explains the complex composition of each chapter: 'Revision was done from galley proofs, for [Churchill] insisted on seeing how his text would look in print. The rough version of the chapter - a mess of printed documents, typed dictation and drafts, covered with handwritten scrawl - would go off by courier to his printers, the Chiswick Press. Their galleys, usually printed within twenty-four hours in multiple copies, would be sent to the assistants and often to former colleagues for comment, then cut and pasted with typescript and manuscript additions, before going back to the printers again. Most chapters of The Second World War went through anything from six to twelve versions, before being dispatched to the publishers' (p.74).
The typescript page in (1) above, containing 19 lines of text not present in the published work, is particularly noteworthy in that it contains a quotation from the post-Alamein victory speech at Mansion House in which Churchill spoke the lines: 'Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.' Reynolds notes that neither the published version nor the drafts of Volume IV contains any reference to the speech, and speculates that this is 'probably because his famous phrase sounded very hollow in 1950, after India, Pakistan and Burma had become independent and after Britain had withdrawn in chaos from Palestine' (p. 336). This page is also unusual in that it contains a reference to the Battle of Stalingrad: the draft of the complete chapter which was read in July by Churchill's agent Emery Reves only contained two fleeting references to Stalingrad, both of them in the context of telegrams (Reynolds, p. 310).
The autograph corrections by Churchill in the typescript pages in (2) were not all incorporated into the final version. There are further considerable differences between the two texts, the most notable being the omission in the published work of Churchill's account of how the American consul had upset the owner of the villa in which he and Roosevelt had stayed: 'he got into trouble with the French lady who owned the villa by letting it appear in the newspapers that it was his villa at which the President and I had stayed, whereas she felt that she ought to have had an honourable mention! She turned him out after we had left.'
In this collection we witness Churchill, as writer and historian, at the helm of a vast and complex enterprise, directing his attention towards every level of historical and personal detail.
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