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Autumn 1959 (Age 85)

Sir Winston was determined to fight the Socialists one final time in the 8 October election. He made two public speeches in his own constituency and one outside. Although he won with a majority of 14,000 there was some concern that his constituents were tiring of their octogenarian and ailing member.

In late October the doctor was summoned after Sir Winston had lost consciousness for a brief period. A consulting specialist thought the attack was due to “petit mal,” a form of epilepsy which also purportedly affected Caesar and Napoleon.

Despite Churchill’s declining state he was lucid enough to read both classics and contemporary offerings. Lord Moran asked him to comment on Tolstoy’s view of Napoleon, but he was more interested in Arthur Bryant’s The Turn of the Tide, based on the diaries of Lord Alanbrooke. Surprisingly, Sir Winston was not offended by what he read: “I was told that the second volume was worse than the first, full of venom, but as far as I have read I don’t find it so.”

He was obviously less pleased with a statue of himself in Woodford, Essex. As Field Marshall Lord Montgomery unveiled it, Sir Winston noted that it was difficult to comment on a work portraying oneself.

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