CHURCHILL'S BESTIARY: His Life Through Animals

Book number: 90802 Product format: Hardback Author: PIERS BRENDON

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Bibliophile price £6.50
Published price £20

'From beak to tail feather and from flipper to fin, this is a book that will long be known, read and savoured.' - James W. Muller of the International Churchill Society. One of Winston Churchill's key characteristics was his fascination with the animal kingdom, and he was a bold rider whether in the realm of sport, politics or war. Born prematurely on 30th November 1874 in his grandfather's magnificent residence Blenheim Palace, the nucleus of the estate was teeming with animals, domestic and wild, the former to be cherished and the latter killed. The young Winston unhesitatingly adopted hunting, shooting and fishing while doting on the horses, hounds and other furred or feathered friends, and he fished well into old age. In this intriguing book we meet his pet cats, poodles, budgerigars and golden orfe, via horses, swans, parrots and butterflies to his own lion, leopard and white kangaroos kept at London Zoo. Churchill even tried to acquire a duck-billed platypus. He identified with animals signing boyhood letters home 'The Pussy Cat' and deliberately personifying the British bulldog as wartime Prime Minister. This charming book is based on original sources but follows the pattern of ancient bestiaries, A to Z beginning with Albatross. The chief proponent of the Government of India Bill, the Secretary of State Sir Samuel Hoare was an old enemy of Churchill's who would win the vote. So Churchill suggested that the victory would be to him what killing the albatross had been to Coleridge's Ancient Mariner. Next entry is Alligators and the next three paragraphs in this extraordinary range of biographical material, this time informing us that Churchill approved of London Zoo's plan to swap two Père David's deer for a pair of Chinese alligators and another reference to his amusing remark to the diarist Harold Nicolson about Britain's appeasement policy in 1938. With all manner of fabulous beasts, rare photographs throughout the text, extensive notes, a timeline of Churchill's life and beautiful endpaper colour image of his spectacular library. 320pp.

Additional product information

ISBN 9781789290509

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