»  Winston Churchill's "The Dream"

Father & Son



In 1947, aged 73, Winston Churchill wrote a curious little essay about his father. Painting alone in his studio, Churchill imagines his father (who was 52 years dead at this point) appearing to him. The two of them have a conversation.

The essay is not on the internet anywhere, so I have just scanned it in from the Oxford Book of Essays, starting here.

[Added later, with thanks to James Fulford of VDARE for the information]:   There is an account of the essay's history in Paul K. Alkon's 2006 book Winston Churchill's Imagination. From which (p. xvii, p.216):

Although first drafted in 1947 and subsequently revised over many years, at his request this short story was reserved for posthumous publication …

His working title for the manuscript was simply "Private Article." His family as well as friends allowed to read it and make suggestions called it "The Dream," and it was thus headed when finally published in the Sunday Telegraph, January 30, 1966, almost exactly a year after his death on January 24, 1965. A version of the conversation with Lord Randolph's shade was first told by Churchill to his son Randolph and his daughter Sarah at a family meal "in late 1946 or early 1947." When asked by Randolph whom he would invoke to join them if he could summon any one from any era, Churchill replied, "Oh, my father, of course."