History Detectives – When Churchill Kissed the Blarney Stone

Finest Hour 162, Spring 2014

Page 42

By Fred Glueckstein

“Mr. Churchill is a dangerous public man, according to all the traditions, for the learned lexicographers state that he who kisses the Blarney Stone is endowed with the power ‘to blarney,’ and ‘to blarney,’ they say, is to humbug with wheedling talk so as to gain a desired end….”
Washington Post, 28 July 1912

On a visit to Blarney Castle near Cork, Ireland, my wife and I were surprised to see a humorous cartoon plaque depicting Churchill and comic actor Oliver Hardy. It shows them squeezed together on the steps of the castle tower, ascending to reach the legendary Blarney Stone. It reads in part:

“You will learn more of the story of the stone as you pass the Castle Chamber. Take care as you mount the winding stairs and, if you think the way is narrow, consider the two who went before you….Eloquence is not just a gift for the sylph-like.”1
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Paintaceous Madeira

Finest Hour 156, Autumn 2012

Page 56

Paintaceous Madeira

By David Druckman

David and Lynn Druckman are world travelers in quest of Churchill; David’s articles have appeared frequently in Finest Hour. For the historical account see “Churchill’s Madeira,” by Terry Reardon (FH 121:30-31).

I was embarrassed. In the midst of presenting cruise ship lectures on Churchill’s life, one passenger’s question left me humiliated: “Tomorrow we dock in Madeira. Can you tell me about Churchill’s visit there?” Hesitating, I told the passenger I would respond in my next lecure.

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