Churchillian Prose at The Morgan Library
Churchillian Prose is the term applied to Sir Winston Churchill’s writing and oration. He was original, he was distinctive and he was powerful.
The Morgan Library and Museum’s exhibit; Churchill: The Power of Words honours the great man and his accomplishments by presenting a selection of his writing (some never before shown) and several artifacts. In addition to the letters and speech drafts there are some interesting objects. Prominently displayed are Churchill’s 1953 Nobel Prize for Literature, his Distinguished Service Medal and his Honorary Citizenship from the United States.
Here is The Morgan’s description of the exhibit;
Sir Winston Churchill’s impact upon the twentieth century is difficult to overestimate. A master orator and writer, Churchill’s use of spoken and written words will be explored in this exhibition that covers more than a half century of his life—from Victorian childhood letters to his parents, to Cold War correspondence with President Eisenhower, and featuring some of his most famous wartime oratory. Drawn from the Churchill Archives Centre, Cambridge, the presentation uses drafts, speaking notes, personal and official correspondence, public statements, and recordings from some of his most compelling speeches and broadcasts as lenses to examine the main events in Churchill’s life. Of particular focus will be Churchill’s lifelong relationship with the United States, homeland of his Brooklyn-born mother, from first visit in 1895 to award of Honorary Citizenship in 1963; and the ways in which he used the written and spoken word to develop, complement and advance his political career.
Photo - Yousuf Karsh, 1941 after addressing the House of Commons in Ottawa.
The exhibit is aptly named The Power of Words as during Churchill’s notable leadership, his speeches are widely credited with rallying his own nation against the relentless onslaught of the Nazis and with convincing the United States to become a crucial ally. Churchill was among the first to recognize the implications of the Nazi threat and the inevitability of war.
It’s well known that Churchill would have preferred the Nobel Prize for Peace rather than for Literature, but this recognition of his powerful skill is exceptionally appropriate. Churchill wrote every word of his own speeches and once said that he spent an hour working on every minute.
His gift with words became so important to England, Europe and the rest of the world and listening to his distinctive and unmistakable voice in recordings of his speeches remind us of that.
Original entrance of The Morgan Library