Churchill was now firmly established as a successful journalist and writer. He was commissioned, in 1903, to write a biography of his father, Lord Randolph, with an advance of £8000 – a very healthy sum. With remarkable speed, he produced two volumes and they were published in 1906. Most reviews were positive, admiring the style and Churchill’s unbiased approach but some weren’t impressed.
Over the next few decades, he wrote another biography (of Marlborough, his illustrious ancestor, in four volumes), two volumes of autobiography (My African Journey, My Early Life) and three massive histories (The World Crisis, The Second World War, and A History of the English-Speaking Peoples). My African Journey (1908): a hunting expedition to East Africa in the autumn of 1907 turned into an enquiry into colonial affairs and resulted in a series of articles for the Pall Mall Gazette, which were later turned into his only travelogue (1908). The World Crisis (1923–31): Churchill’s memoirs covering the years 1911–1928.
In October 1922, when Churchill was out of Parliament for the first time in twenty-two years (apart from a few weeks in 1908), he took up writing again and embarked on his mammoth history of the First World War (and the pre-and post-war years), The World Crisis. It was published in five parts or volumes (in six books; confusingly, one ‘volume’ was spread over two books) over the years 1923 to 1931.
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