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Literary, 1890 - 1945

Reference Code: GBR/0014/CHAR 8

Scope and Contents

This class contains correspondence with publishers, editors, and printers, and other correspondence in connection with WSC's literary work both during preparation and after publication. Since some of the publications are political there is a little correspondence on political topics which arises directly and obviously out of publications. The class also contains materials assembled for writing, notes and drafts, printer's copy, proofs, and reviews. Often some of the material assembled was not used in the final work, while other material was clearly acquired after publication and preserved either out of interest or with a view to later editions. No rigid line can be drawn between source-material and correspondence with persons whose help and advice was sought by WSC, nor on the other hand between source-material and copy, since original documents or parts of them were sent as 'author's copy' to the printer. Such copy still includes documents which may well belong in some other class but are too mutilated to be usefully returned, even if their provenance is certain.Generally, however, documents which could have been acquired in some other connection than the collection of source material, for example in virtue of office, have been placed in the presumed original class, except in cases where it is certain that they were acquired for literary purposes and can conveniently be separated from other material of less certain provenance, or where they have been inseparably attached to literary material. The material present for all these reasons in CHAR 8 is occasionally of some importance and the value of this class as a source for non-literary matters must not be overlooked.The correspondence is arranged chronologically; the book matter is grouped at the date, or estimated date, of publication, except for "The history of the English Speaking Peoples", which was largely completed before World War II though not published until later. It has been placed at the end of the class followed by some files of correspondence which came to light only after the arrangement had been completed.Where books contain a number of volumes all the matter is placed at the date of the first volume. It should be noted, in connection with the use of chapter titles to distinguish some book-matter files, that titles might be changed and chapters re-arranged in the course of preparation, so that these descriptions must be used with some care. Articles were frequently syndicated and reprinted, often under different titles.Where a book consists of a collection of previously published articles the text of an article may only be found in the book, but in some other cases an article may become separated and restored to the date of the original publication. The book eventually called "Great Contemporaries" started life as a collection of reprinted articles called "Short Biographies" in 1932. The "Biographies" were not published then but some articles appeared in "Thoughts and Adventures". Both "Short Biographies" and "Great Contemporaries" were used as titles by the printers on the galley proofs of other articles set up in the expectation that they would become separate books or be added to the second edition of "Great Contemporaries". All this matter has been placed at 1937. "Not Uneventful" was the title proposed for an autobiography compiled by Charles Eade from WSC's published writings.The copy of "The history of the English Speaking Peoples" is numbered in folios. The numeration reflects neither chronological arrangement nor the order of the book. It may well not reflect the order in which the various parts were prepared, but shows the order in which they were first printed, and the first galley proofs bear the appropriate folio numbers.


  • Creation: 1890 - 1945

Conditions Governing Access

From the Fonds:

The Churchill Papers are made available to researchers using Churchill Archives Centre and worldwide in digital format. The digital edition of the Churchill Papers is published by Bloomsbury Academic and is available online to subscribing institutions at The Churchill archive is freely available in our reading rooms and onsite at Churchill College (via the Churchill College wireless network). Researchers can download images of documents directly from and so are encouraged to consider bringing a laptop or other device for this purpose. For conservation reasons, the fragile originals are no longer issued to researchers.

This digital edition is open to researchers unless otherwise marked in the catalogue. Some material has been closed by the Cabinet Office or by Churchill Archives Centre in accordance with data protection legislation.

Language of Materials


External Documents

Related Materials

Churchill Archives Centre also holds the papers of some of Churchill's literary assistants including William Deakin and Denis Kelly and there are finding aids available to these collections on the Janus webserver.

Repository Details

Part of the Churchill Archives Centre Repository

Churchill Archives Centre
Churchill College
Cambridge Cambridgeshire CB3 0DS United Kingdom
+44 (0)1223 336087