Early AUTOGRAPH LETTER from Winston Churchill to his Cousin

“The speeches were successful but I hope to make considerable progress with practice.”


1 sheet folded in 3 (9 1/4 x 7 1/4 inches)

Item Number: 16320

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A marvelous, youthful, three-page letter, all in Churchill’s hand, dated October 25, 1898, written to Churchill’s first cousin, Ivor Guest (son of Lord Randolph’s sister, Cornelia) on one tri-folded sheet of 35A Great Cumberland Place W. letterhead (Churchill’s mother’s home), as Churchill was preparing to return to India following his time with Kitchener in the Sudan:

My dear Ivor,
I have postponed my departure for India until next Friday. I shall hope to come to Paris a day earlier so as to have a talk with you. I hope you read the Morning Post of 25th and 27th instant. The speeches were successful but I hope to make considerable progress with practice. I speak at Portsmouth on Monday night and after that no more till next year.
I will write to you and let you know my plans as to Paris. You must have witnessed some strange scenes in the last few days. A democracy gone wrong is a terrible spectacle.
After all the only difference between us the other night was one which has long agitated the world. You follow Epicurus – I incline to Zeno. There is nobility in both. But I think more vitality in the second.
Ever yours sincerely,
Winston S. Churchill

The “strange scenes” in Paris and the “democracy gone wrong” that the 23-year-old Churchill remarks upon here are references to the Dreyfus Affair. The speeches he mentions, delivered at Rotherhithe, Dover and Southsea, were among his earliest public political addresses.