TYPED LETTER SIGNED to Winston Churchill’s Principal Proof Reader

“I have now ceased my literary activities...”


1 sheet (9 x 7 inches)

Item Number: 18967

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This poignant farewell to the world of letters, dated November 16, 1957, typed on Hyde Park Gate letterhead, is addressed to Churchill’s principal proof reader, C.C. Wood:

My dear Wood,
I am so much obliged to you for the work you have done on the last volume
[of A HISTORY OF THE ENGLISH-SPEAKING PEOPLES]. As you know, I have now ceased my literary activities, and the fourth volume is therefore the last which will come before you. Pray accept my most warm thanks for what you have done over the years, which I always found to be of great assistance.
I enclose a ‘bonus’ for £200 which I hope you will accept, and remain,
Yours very sincerely,
Winston S. Churchill

The letter (9 x 7 inches) is in very good condition, with the standard mailing folds and one upper corner file punch.

C.C. WOOD, as chief copy editor for publisher George G. Harrap, first worked for Winston Churchill proofreading his four-volume Marlborough biography throughout the 1930s. The abstemonious Wood, whom Churchill once described as “indefatigable, interminable, intolerable,” did not endear himself to his boss by neither smoking nor drinking, and Churchill ultimately decided to do without Wood’s services for his Second World War memoirs. However, when the first English edition of THE GATHERING STORM was published with an embarrassing number of typographic errors, Churchill brought Wood back and stuck with him until this final farewell.