Contrary to popular opinion (an opinion encouraged by Churchill himself in his autobiography, My Early Life), he was actually quite good at some subjects at school. He was particularly good at English and history, both subjects in which he showed considerable promise. This early promise was borne out when he became a war correspondent, sending dispatches back to London from far-flung parts of the Empire for newspapers. He was determined to get himself noticed and to get himself into politics – and, for an adventurous, reckless young man on a mission, this seemed as good a way as any. Between 1897 and 1900, with the help of his mother’s lobbying, he fought in three of Queen Victoria’s wars while doubling up as a war correspondent. He quickly turned all three experiences into books. His literary career was off to a flying start.