tv Romantic Imagination of Winston Churchill CSPAN November 13, 2016 11:28am-12:13pm EST
the brilliance of the program chairman of this conference. [laughter] >> we will take our first break of the morning and resume probably around 10:45 a.m. >> we continue without coverage of the 33rd international churchill conference held recently in washington, d.c. next, historian andrew roberts, who talks about the sensitive side of british prime minister winston churchill. this is about 35 minutes. >> i'm very much enjoying my first experience at the international churchill conference, and i'm very pleased
to be introducing our next andrew roberts. coming from the memorial in kansas city, we have enjoyed , and arenerships looking forward to the recent symposium and are very excited to be working with the churchill center. in the new young professionals group that will be having a churchillian of it next saturday. hopefully we have a whole new array of churchillians during the conference in the future, and that is not completely sold out, so that is really exciting news for everyone. as someone who works on social i wonder what winston churchill would have done if he had twitter, especially at 3 a.m. [laughter]
>> the special team is doing a b, john olson here. so, i e-mailed andrew roberts a wastimes before as i constructing this introduction and i wanted to give him a highlight. he replied "i have written 13 books." so i have the immense honor to introduce andrew roberts who is 13 times over an incredible author. he is currently a professor at king's college london. he has written or edited 19 books, which have been .ranslated into 22 languages he is presently riding a
biography of churchill for penguin that will be published in 2018. speaking today on the romantic imagination of winston churchill, please welcome andrew roberts. [applause] mr. roberts: ladies and gentlemen, it is very much an to speak toinvited you again. i believe in the power of subliminal advertising. [laughter] wroteust 1933, churchill that american audiences interest, attention and good nature to which they follow a lengthy considered statement." it is up to you to keep that
tradition going for at least the next 45 minutes. the concept of the british [indiscernible] was invented by the victorian and prevalent in the upper classes, where it was considered did predict to show one's emotions openly and where one's heart on one sleeve. the empireeved that depended on the capacity of officers and men to rise but the natural human emotions and stay calm and collected regardless of what appalling thing was going on. the sense of that british -- the center of that british believe found in the be british army. in the earlier periods, cheerfulness did not imply a lack of manliness or self-control.
in january 1886, every single one of the eight admirals who had carried the coffin to the cathedral, was in tears. as a less at least half of the all-male congregation. regency renren unexpected to have to control their emotions in the way that their victorian grandsons and great grandsons were. yet, there was one big taurean -- onelass british army big taurean upper-class british army who cried to such an extraordinary event, that we need to regard him and said that wasg a victorian, but she chronologically speaking, but as a regency figure, born out of his time. was an churchill profoundly romantic with the capacity for empathy and also possessing such aristocratic
disregard to what others thought likem, that if he felt crying, he did. such was his historical imagination, too, that this released atcould be minor moments and of great occasions, especially if music was involved. in 1993, churchill's last aboutary was interviewed churchill's tendency to we ep. when i was with them about three lot and hewept a said to him after dinner, i blubber an awful lot. you will have to get used to that. john asked, what would stimulate that? anthony replied, tales of heroism, the motions of tales of heroism. he loved animals, a noble dog struggling through this note to his master would inspire tears. it was touching and i found it acceptable.
sweat, came to tears and church only about all of them, especially tears. lord halifax described him as having a child's emotion and demands reason. here are a few occasions through churchill's life in which he is recorded as crying. of september, 1897, he wrote to his friends, -- viewer to his mother, i really detect a genuine emotion myself of this great friend, lieutenant william brent clayton, who was killed close to him on the expedition. i must rank it as a rare instance the fact that i cried when i saw brown clayton literally cut to pieces on the stretcher. henry wilson, for the commander-in-chief of the british expedition, after parting for france in 1914. i never liked him so much, wilson wrote about him. on the 10th of august of that
year, when his faithful manservant thomas horton died, who had worked for his father before him, he wrote after the funeral, alas, i have lost this noble friend, devoted entry, who have known since i have been a youth. he added that there were about 40 mourners, including all the household who worked. it is fair to assume that he could be included amongst them. on the eighth of november, 1924, when sandy baldwin asked if he would serve as chancellor, churchill assumed it meant of lancaster instead of the duchy and baldwin said no and tears came into churchill's eyes because he said that he would be able to vindicate the chancellorship of his late father. on the death of at the smith, inrchill's great friend
winston leftght, for his friend and he said several times, i feel so lonely. in november, 1934, the soviet , whose brilliant diaries have just been published, by the way, he was attending the wedding of the duke of kent to the princess of grace. greece andrincess of he wrote that churchill looked deeply moved. i remember how churchill shed wrote captain. of december, 1936, the day after his [indiscernible] as i saw mr. churchill off, there were tears in his eyes, but they were for a list tears
-- royalist tears. six months later, at the moment the queen consul was crowned, churchill, eyes full of tears, said, youclemency and are right, i see now that the other one would not have done. during the munich crisis, there , whereinner at the savoy it was discovered that none would join him in signing a telegram to neville chamberlain, injuring him to make no further accessions. the telegramd that was not despised and one by one, our friends went out defeated. winston remains, sitting in his chair, immobile, frozen and i saw tears in his eyes. i could feel the -- his last attempt to salvage what was and i spoke with
bitterness to those who had refused to put a name to the principles and policies which they professed and you spoke, what are they made of? today's not far when it will not be signatures -- the day is not far off when it will not be signatures we have to give but the lives of millions. can we survive? it will be hard to do so and there is no courage anywhere. three days later, alfred resigned and churchill cried again. told40, when fdr's hopkins churchill then he would get a rifle from the usa come he was moved to tears. on the 13th of may, 1940, on the same day, we read george [indiscernible] mix of moving speech telling winston how ponty is of him. winston cries and wiped his eyes.
ag so blessed that winston's eyes filled with tears as he buried his eyes in his left hand and wiped his face. on the fourth of july, 1940, churchill cried after the house of commons applauded his decision. when churchill finished his speech, the whole house, the affiliation,ty jumped to their seats and applauded him for several powerful and, sitting on the treasury bench, the tension draining from his body, churchill lowered his head and the tears ran down his cheeks. it was a strong and stirring scene. at last, have a real leader, echoed through the lobbies.
the recorded at that occasion, winston left the house visibly affected. i heard him say, this is heartbreaking for me. share where people have been killed after the first churchill in the words of a letter from the secretary to the war cabinet broke down completely at his welcome. you see, he cares, and he really cares, a woman calls out. he is crying. two months later, another mp and wrote thatfax winston had the decency to cry as soon as he stood by the coffin. recited1941, hopkins 4000 goes, i will go. cash recited cummaquid taoist goes, i will go. it was hard for winston
churchill to recall the incident without being overcome with emotion. [indiscernible] he would say, we had two lovely films after dinner. one was called escape and the other was a comedy called quite wedding. they were several short reels .rom the ministry her husband was the minister at that point in the churchill government. winston managed to cry to all of them. including the comedy. [laughter] the months after that in march 1921, there were tears in churchill's eyes when he met the japanese ambassador. when he was asked why? to have told him
that he was an emotional man. now he has tears because he wants to crush fiddler -- hitler and a year from now, he may have tears because of the war. elizabeth nels joined the number 10 team, and said, sometimes his forces become a quick the motion -- thick with emotion and a tear would run down his cheek during the next month, he cried when visiting the house of commons and did not make an attempt to operate the tears. george met1, colonel churchill in london. his accounts of the suffering in france reduced churchill to tears. and at the foreign office, they
noticed the prime minister crying the following month while watching the hamilton woman, the great laurence olivier movie about nelson. month on the 10th of august, while sagan, -- ittin game -- while singing, was noticed that churchill was affected emotionally. was written toit tom about the bombing of [indiscernible] in the weight affected churchill personally. and particularly, he wrote to the prime minister that he was keen to suffering. filled up with tears and talked about the suffering of the jews in germany. he looked at the houses and said, for homes --p poor
homes. it is beside the character not always appreciated. the fact that some people mentioned it shows in and of itself calling usual it was for in public in those days. even something as mundane as a in 1922,journalist that set off churchill's waterworks. major general john kennedy recalls on that particular day with a good tears, it brought him applause. on the 16th of october, 1942, he was moved to tears by a speech. the prime minister of south africa. the next month, he cried again march in the 51st edition in tripoli. colonel ian jacob, the secretary
for the cabinet, the sun shown down in the cried this sky -- and a cloud this sky and they set up on the upper part of the outlined in the archery, all under the veterans of the army, expanding the last city of bruce braley's empire. no wonder the tears rolled down his cheek as he took the salute of one of our finest divisions. the bitter moment in the white house when it fell was swallowed up in the joy of the morning in tripoli. when admiral cunningham took the prime minister to visit the submarine crews and the harbor in june 1943, churchill made a delightful speech. he came away with tears running down his cheeks. cunningham. for murder out on that location. churchill talked about walking in the valley of the sender of death -- valley of the shadow of
theh, and in that affect morale of submarine crews that day. that november during the conference, one day after lunch with the president, he asked his daughter sarah to arrange for cry to go to the pyramids to see if we could get close enough to dictate dear -- close enough to take fdr there. the presidentas written to that he must simply go to see this links on the impairments. turned abruptly away and said, we will wait for you in the car. outside in the simmering sunshine, his eyes are bright with tears. i love that man. conference,hat same as it was thanksgiving, the president carved a giant turkey for 20 people like professional. he made little speeches
afterward and tears were flowing down his cheeks. the band played deeply in the ngckground and everyone sag home on the range. [laughter] churchill was seriously ill with ammonia. on gender 18, he made an unexpected return to the house of commons and was flushed with pleasure and emotion and hardly had he sat down when two large tears trickled down his cheeks. he mocks them with handkerchief. my friends, the late kenneth rose, historian, told charles the guardswhen chapel was hit and 121 people were killed in waterloo day, lighthe saw the arc shining on the scene and illuminating winston churchill
on the rebel, weeping. the freedom of the city of paris after the liberation in 1944, churchill was presented with an attractive box. on opening the casket, he found it contained not a scrolled but flag thate -- nazi had been held and tears poured down his cheeks. he cry as she cried at fdr's memorial service and when he visited his grave after the war. on the fourth of may, there were celebratory drinks with the chief of staff. according to alan brooke's diary, it was always with tears. an appalling moments because ath brooke failing to make
speech, thinking churchill for everything he had done, and it was one of the great missed for those chiefs of staff to show their appreciation to the prime minister. later that month in the coalition government broken up, churchill was at home for those who served there during the war. it was also written in a diary that at the familiar cabinet table, he addressed this with tears streaming down his jake's. he said that we all came together and stay together as a united band of friends in a trying time and history would recognize this. the lights of history will shine on your helmet, he said. , the results of the 19 foot her collection came. -- the 1945 collection came. 1947, [indiscernible]
award toented an winston churchill, having won the declaration himself during the defense, and churchill wrapped during his speech. he has particularly delighted that any holder or on scheme military have the right to be driven home without chance by the police. [laughter] there is a photograph of churchill weeping on the seventh of may, 1948. during a was another conservative party meeting the same month. 1949ouncil of europe in said he was acclaimed in the city by cheering crowds and he wept and spoken french and give wisdom and guidance to the council. inn returning to office
1961, churchill learns that the canadian government has decided to rule and should no longer be played by the canadian air force and navy. the defense minister [indiscernible] he almost decided that he would cancel his visit in january 1952 and was persuaded not to buy clement scene, who according [indiscernible] when he disembarked at the till, --pposite chat churchill wept. thats words, it was said no one had the mildest of criticism of canada.
in had the effect that you would buy now at this point, in my speech, have expected. , he was sitting alone with tears in his eyes, looking straight in front of him . i had not realized how much the king has meant to him and i tried to cheer them up with all and i did notn know her, she was only a child. [indiscernible] he recalled how he was in a flood of tears. he later broke down in tears while rehearsing his speech about the king. the following year on the death of king's mother, laura nicholson recorded queen mary dies at 10:20 and winston announces it at 10:45.
the archbishop of canterbury remembers him being in tears. winston churchill is so used to cry when here at versailles approach, such as the ladies of ancient rome. on the 11th of july, 1955, the oxford historian [indiscernible] we talked about the thinking of the bismarck, he recalled. greateard the news of the british ship, what was the name of that ship? , he said. tears in his eyes. in the 1950's, when sarah churchill reminded him in 1922 that she needed to grow up, i looked up to him and found his tears bright with -- found his
eyes bright with tears. [indiscernible] whose photograph you saw earlier today to console her on the andh of her second husband ended by shedding tears when discussing her first husband. at august, friend in died of esophagus cancer and winston wept, same dear, dear brendan. the following year, he left when they took up a seat in the house of commons. there are reports that i have now confirmed that he wept from hearing the news of kennedy's assassination and he did on his own 19th birthday in 1964. an american journalist, charles frank, who went to london to cover churchill's funeral a few months later, read about how many recall churchill himself in tears, pride, humility, the
focus of churchill weeping a relish. they showed an intensely emotional men, completely adult, with [indiscernible] i would like to thank john for pointing out that churchill was recently diagnosed with a , from a illness, ncba doctor in charlotte, no caps on, however, john points out that this condition would have only taken place after his stroke in 1953, when his specialists. it -- when his specialists an increase in emotionality. he felt things that are found a t and ed expressed itself again and again. if anyone can think of other documents when he cried, i would love to know them. i have building -- i have been building up this file the last 20 years.
in that letter to brown clayton, churchill told his mother, i think the keen sense of necessity was burning wrong and injustice would make me sister, but i really detect genuine emotion and myself. all this has been taken at baseball value, but considering the number of times that he cried, we can discard it. plenty of people get emotional at weddings and funerals, but churchill cried at those, as well, also, at resignations, movies, the thinking of the french fleet, the holocaust, a. andnches with journalists, noble donald sterling through the snow. [laughter] couragehe world and nobody else comes anywhere near the lachrymose idiot churchill amongst his -- near
churchill amongst his constituencies. because his emotions were fine and honorable ones, this is something we should applaud. the decision to fight on against the germans was as much an emotional decision as anything. it did not seem to have large nationalities or military decisions. that he worenkful his heart on his sleeve in the extraordinary way that he did. thank you very much. [applause] david tells me we have 15 minutes four q and a. it does not have to be about this subject. you can ask whatever you would like. >> andrew, thank you for coming.
a couple of questions, a pick up ,n that last point of the pbp clearly, churchill was an emotional man, tearful, laughing, but by the time he had his first stroke in 1949 and then in 1953, the sense i get is that there were times when they were unprovoked and you could understand circumstances of a funeral, where you start to tear up, but the notion that you would walk into the front door and just start tearing up, that ormore a future of pbp cerebral palsy and you could be emotional. are thef that, there times and it was unexpected to be careful. have not heard of him crying reason reason -- for no whatsoever. all the ones i have tracked down to have a stimulus to them, so
if you can come up with an example when he cries for this hell ofcries for the it, i would be curious to know. as i say, i have ever only found outside stimulus. >> [indiscernible] >> that was a wonderful disposition and something not often talked about. the atlantictold charter was an important moment the bats leftd their public aboard the great ship, but i know that churchill was impacted when six months wasr, the prince of wales
sunk in singapore and i was always told he was in floods of tears. mr. roberts: thank you. that is helpful. one concern the understand so many of the ships that we fought the second world war with [indiscernible] so he knew the ships. he knew the men in them extraordinarily well, so it made sense if he cried windows capital ships were sunk in in those- he cried when capital ships were sunk in 1941. >> i actually did not really there was a cinema and but he definitely cried.
he cried to all sorts of films. the one we had many times, city lights, and charlie chaplin does a great time of this end he joined that film. mr. roberts: thank you. anyone else? [laughter] yes? thank you. i have a question about the occasion when winston churchill should have cried but maybe did hisand that was representative. washington during world war ii, i did not know how many people sirhe audience know about marshall dille, but he was churchill's representative on the joint chief of staff and , and ise, november 1944 buried in arlington, the only
member of another nation's military that was buried in arlington. churchill referred to them as dillydallying. .'ve read about him did churchill ever reevaluate his opinion? mr. roberts: interesting question. cried whenryone everyone died. [laughter] a little harsh on him to expect that, but you are quite right. of marshall tos john dale is one of the -- if any will go visit at all, go see his grave because it has a full scale, equestrian statue, and it is in such extraordinary detail that on the medals on him, you
can tell the individual medals, including the rosettes placed on certain medals to denote mentions and dispatches, and this is the most extraordinary kind of representation. yes, he did call him dillydally because he was not impressed with the way he chaired the chief of staff, and that was lying december 1941, he swapped him or he sent them off brickrica and brought in -- brroke, who he knew he would have lots of problems -- brooke, who he knew he would have lots of problems with, and he did, and he would sit in front of and he would break pencils in half, saying i disagree with the prime minister. [laughter]
the be awkward to have mandrakeong, angry something in your case, but he appreciated it and it was really important to have someone who would say no to him. unlike so many politicians that surround themselves with yes, man, he surrounded himself with no, man, knowing he would have to and arguments in order to get what was needed to be done, done. that shows you a tremendous amount of courage. >> a wonderful point out winston never said no to his commanders. been toe of you have bill winston baldwin, in the cabinet room down there, facing directly opposite where winston sat and the three chiefs of staff's, then has never moved,
and it is from queen victoria and it is that defeat is not an option in this house and it sums up the position that the commanders could argue with him but not over victory. this isrts: i love how turning into a churchill family seminar. [laughter] [applause] lord watson? >> [indiscernible] to ask you to comment on something, which is a difficult subject. there have been reports that eyeson wept or damped his when watching the film of the burning of dead bodies after the destruction of dresden. this,e probably aware of of course, it was followed by churchill's note in which she
basically questioned the policy of the destruction of the city at that time. of course, there is a tremendous pushback from harris and it was rescinded, but i would be interested to hear your comments about that. dr. robert -- mr. roberts: you are preferring -- you areere at referring to a place you would ask, and the bombing of dresden, i go into immense detail in my as the mosthlighted outrageous act of the combined longer offensive. i do not see it in that way at all. i think it was necessary because the russians had asked us to do railway linesthe connecting east and west because they were moving men from the west who tried to sure up their position on the eastern front in germany. the large numbers who died
there, it was largely the force of who unbeknownst to the british and americans, there were no deep shelters in dresden, except for himself and his family, and many other factors that one can go into where in the way in which the fire bomb killed some 20,000 people, which is nothing like, ladies and gentlemen, the hundred 20,000 people that the former historian david irving left alone at the time of the bombing. there are operational regions for that, but it did affect winston churchill. it is something magnificent about that, to be able to cry that areenemies wounded and as well as your own, that shows universal sentiment
that was mentioned yesterday about the way in which he was say in his speech about -- about how he would he hopefully fighting in the field, a controversial thing to say. it is not the kind of thing usually hear during wars, but nonetheless, it shows that he ,ad the capacity for largeness cryptic statements, and that is the reason why i think he cried over the deaths in dresden. the question are we beasts? it is a good one to ask, but i do not believe that we were. i think the key thing was that all of those men, harris included, was desperate to end
the second world war as soon as possible and churchill was being advised that their way to do this was to destroy german capacity to produce. when you look at the graph, and i have got one of these in my up until goes up and the firebombing at hamburg and other cities in 1943, and then it cuts off, and it does not go down, but it loses that exponential kind of tudor cherries that and had up until that point. so i think churchill comes that will from that. one more question. whoever gets the microphone first, basically. >> thank you. you have an encyclopedic mind. can you think of other great leaders who would be known for their locker mossadegh -- known for that?
had a we saw people who little bit more of a display of this kind of emotion? as to roberts: i think it would moment for thehe candidates to cry, rather than the whole of the nation, in the election at the moment. [laughter] [applause] with regard to famous leaders and bismarck is the one person or comes to mind, even never think of the iron chancellor as wasn who would be that he an emotional man and cried a lot. is not a trait often found in great leaders.
the reasonhat was why would be worthwhile to collect up these examples of it happening. thank you for coming up with a few extra ones. ladies and gentlemen, thank you. [applause] you, andrew. brilliant as always. it the word lachrymose of the was not in the vocabulary of anyone in this room today, it has now become a permanent addition to their arsenal of words. ladies and gentlemen, our second break of the morning. we will reconvene at 11:45 with our last speaker. thank you. thisam