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Auction: Valuable Manuscripts and Printed Books
was auctioned on: 12 November 2008
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CHURCHILL, Sir Winston Spencer (1874-1965) Autograph letter ...

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Estimate: £7,000 - £10,000
ca. US$10,736 - US$15,337
Price realised:  £6,250
ca. US$9,585
Lot number 56, Views: 29

CHURCHILL, Sir Winston Spencer (1874-1965). Autograph letter signed ('Winston') to Pamela Plowden ('My Pamela'), n.p. [near Colenso], [21]-25 February [1900], 5 pages, 8vo (later annotation in pen to upper margin of first page). Provenance : Pamela, Countess of Lytton; and by descent.
CHURCHILL, Sir Winston Spencer (1874-1965). Autograph letter signed ('Winston') to Pamela Plowden ('My Pamela'), n.p. [near Colenso], [21]-25 February [1900], 5 pages, 8vo (later annotation in pen to upper margin of first page). Provenance : Pamela, Countess of Lytton; and by descent. THE LAST STAGES OF THE CAMPAIGN TO RELIEVE LADYSMITH: 'You know the end of the Spionkop action. Vaalkrantz was to my mind even worse. But at last the sky begins to brighten [...] With God's help we shall relieve Ladysmith tomorrow'; Churchill has constantly been in the thick of the action, in his twin roles with the South African Light Horse and as a special correspondent, but he is unscathed, 'preserved by my strange luck, or the favour of Heaven -- which you will -- perhaps because I am to be of use'. His brother Jack, by contrast, was wounded in his first skirmish, even though he was lying down and Winston was 'walking about without any cover'. Churchill sends tempered sympathy -- 'Poor bird' -- for Pamela's grief at the death of her young half-brother: 'Babies' deaths are the least sad of all partings: but women feel them most'. The letter resumes four days later from the thick of the action: 'here I sit on a rocky hill without any conveniences for writing ... Moreover they have begun shelling us again which is a nuisance'; he has had a close escape from a shrapnel burst, and casualties are heavy, but 'My nerves were never better and I think I care less for bullets every day'. In his dual role as war correspondent and cavalry lieutenant, Churchill had acted as a courier during the battle of Spion Kop. The fourth attempt at relieving Ladysmith finally succeeded three days after the present letter, on 28 February.

Informations about the auction
Auction house: Christie's
Title: Valuable Manuscripts and Printed Books
Date of the auction: 12 Nov 2008
Address: Christie's
12 November 2008, London, King Street