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Autumn 1934 (Age 60)

In September, Churchill signed a contract with famed film producer Alexander Korda (The Third Man and hundreds of other films) to write a script on the reign of George V for the Silver Jubilee. Although technicalities prevented the project from coming to fruition, Churchill eventually realized most of the £10,000 he had anticipated. He also contracted to write a History of the English-Speaking Peoples. Keith Feiling, his research assistant, was instructed to prepare a rough scheme of chapters and a list of books to be read, ” . . . three of four first-rate authorities for each period. There is no question of research of any kind but of course we should base ourselves whenever possible upon the original sources.” Another research assistant began work on Volume III of Marlborough.

While the materials were being prepared, the Churchills took a holiday in Greece, the Middle East and Egypt on the yacht of their friend, Lord Moyne. They returned to Chartwell in mid-October. A BBC broadcast on the causes of war provided opportunity to speak out on the need to resist in Germany using “the most brutish methods of ancient barbarism” to terrorize its civilian population. The Foreign Office told Churchill it was doubtful that Hitler plotted a war of aggression.

Following a successful Commons speech on defense, Churchill’s 60th birthday saw many elements of society beginning to rally behind his attacks on Government policy.

He reviewed two volumes of Lloyd George’s War Memoirs, crediting L-G with being the best man to lead in the Great War. Churchill also used a review of Sir Roger Keyes’ memoirs to argue that ships could have forced the Dardanelles.

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