Churchill, Sir Winston
Lovely 1934 frameable in-person signature of Churchill during his “wilderness years”
Description: (1874-1965) British statesman, army officer, and writer, Prime Minister 1940-45, 1951-55. One of the 20th century’s most important figures, seen as a victorious wartime leader who played an important role in defending Europe’s liberal democracy from the spread of fascism. Praised as a social reformer and writer, he received the 1953 Nobel Prize in Literature. Apart from 1922-24, he was an MP 1900-64. Ideologically an economic liberal and imperialist, he was a Conservative for most of his career, Party Leader 1940-55; he was a Liberal 1904-24.
Born to an American mother and a wealthy aristocratic father, he joined the British Army in 1895 and saw action in India, the Anglo-Sudan war, and the 2nd Boer War, earning fame as a war correspondent and writing books about his campaigns. In Asquith’s Liberal government, he was President of the Board of Trade and Home Secretary, championing prison reform and workers’ social security. As First Lord of the Admiralty during WW I, he oversaw the disastrous Gallipoli Campaign and was demoted to Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. He resigned November 1915 and joined the Royal Scots Fusiliers on the Western Front for 6 months. In 1917, he returned to government under David Lloyd George and served successively as Minister of Munitions, Secretary of State for War, Secretary of State for Air, and Secretary of State for the Colonies, overseeing the Anglo-Irish Treaty and British foreign policy in the Middle East. After 2 years out of Parliament, he was Chancellor of the Exchequer in Stanley Baldwin’s government, returning the pound sterling in 1925 to the gold standard at its pre-war parity, seen as creating deflationary pressure and depressing the UK economy.
Out of office during the 1930s, his “wilderness years”, Churchill took the lead in calling for British rearmament to counter the growing threat Nazi German militarism. After Hitler came to power in 1933, Churchill expressed alarm that the government had reduced air force spending and warned that Germany would soon overtake Britain in airplane production and in Nov. 1934, told the people of his concerns in a radio broadcast. Between October 1933-September 1938, the 4 volumes of Marlborough: His Life and Times were published and sold well. In December 1934, the India Bill entered Parliament and passed in February 1935; Churchill and 83 other Conservative MPs opposed it. In June 1935, MacDonald resigned, replaced as PM by Baldwin who led the Conservatives to victory in the 1935 election; Churchill retained his seat but was left out of the government.
At the outbreak of WW II, he was re-appointed First Lord of the Admiralty and in May 1940, became Prime Minister replacing Neville Chamberlain. As PM, Churchill oversaw British involvement in the Allied war effort against the Axis Powers, resulting in victory in 1945. After the Conservatives’ defeat in the 1945 general election , he became Leader of the Opposition. Amid the developing Cold War with the USSR, he warned of an “iron curtain” of Soviet influence in Europe and promoted European unity. Re-elected Prime Minister in 1951 his 2nd term was preoccupied with foreign affairs, esp. Anglo-American relations and, despite ongoing decolonization, preservation of the British Empire. At home, his government emphasized house-building and developed a nuclear weapon. In poor health, he resigned as PM in 1955, remaining an MP until 1964.
6 x 4 ¼ pale yellow autograph album page (in-person signature) signed “WSChurchill” dated December 24 1934 at lower left by collector. With 1940 b&w book portrait for matting and framing.
Condition: Very good, center fold