Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.
(1874-1965) UK politician and author, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1953; influential advocate of legalized Eugenics programmes, such as he (with others) expounded in the Mental Deficiency Act of 1912, with "deficiency" being defined in both medical and moral terms. His only novel, Savrola: A Tale of the Revolution in Laurania (May-December 1899 Macmillan's Magazine; 1900), is a Ruritanian story set in an imaginary European republic as a civil war rages. He is included here primarily for four short works: "Man Overboard! An Episode of the Red Sea" (December 1898 The Harmsworth Magazine), a tale of terror, though not supernatural; "Shall We Commit Suicide?" (24 September 1924 Nash's Pall Mall Magazine), Alternate History speculation describing the continuation of World War One into a possibly interminable Future War; "If Lee Had Not Won the Battle of Gettysburg" (December 1930 Scribner's), Thought Experiment in Alternate History based on a now familiar Jonbar Point, which was included in the seminal If It had Happened Otherwise: Lapses into Imaginary History (anth 1931; vt If: or History Rewritten 1931; exp 1972) edited by J C Squire; and "Fifty Years Hence" (December 1931 Strand Magazine), which speculates widely. In "The Dream" (written 1947-1948; as Chapter 20 of Winston S Churchill, 1945-1965: Volume VIII: Never Despair, 1966, by Martin Gilbert), the ghost of his father appears to Winston, and they speak about the future.
As Worton Spender, he plays an important role in Bernard Newman's Alternate History tale about World War One, The Cavalry Went Through (1930), and in his Near Future Secret Weapon (1941). Churchill was a significant figure in both World War One and World War Two, and has appeared as himself or under some transparent disguise in various Alternate World tales – often those with a Steampunk ambience, like Bryan Talbot's Grandville sequence, though Christopher Priest's use of him in The Separation (2002) casts a cold eye on his achievements. [JC]
Sir Winston Leonard Spenser Churchill
born Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire: 30 November 1874
died London: 24 January 1965
works (highly selected)
- Savrola: A Tale of the Revolution in Laurania (New York: Longman, Green and Company, 1900) [first appeared May-December 1899 Macmillan's Magazine: hb/]
- If It had Happened Otherwise: Lapses into Imaginary History (London: Longmans, Green, 1931) edited by J C Squire [anth: hb/]
- If: or History Rewritten (New York: The Viking Press, 1931) edited by J C Squire [anth: vt of the above: hb/]
- If It had Happened Otherwise: Lapses into Imaginary History (London: Sidgwick and Jackson, 1971) edited by J C Squire [anth: exp of the above: hb/nonpictorial]
about the author
- Paul Alkon. Winston Churchill's Imagination (Lewisburg, Pennsylvania: Bucknell University Press, 2006) [nonfiction: hb/nonpictorial]
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