The Sordid History
"Collected Works" Their history is a fascinating but sordid tale.
In 1973 on the eve of the Churchill Centenary, the Churchill family announced the publication of the first collected edition of Sir Winston's books, edited by Frederick Woods, published by the Library of Imperial History in London, limited to an edition of "no more than 3000 copies," and selling for a princely $2500.
Aesthetically, the set was magnificent: handbound in natural calfskin vellum with the titling in 22 ct. gold, gilt-edged with each book in a deep green slipcase stamped with the Churchill Arms, printed on special 500-year archival paper with marbled endpapers. The specifications were titanic: five million words in 19,000 pages, weighing 90 pounds, and totalling 42 feet when placed side by side.
To achieve publication, eleven publishing houses in Great Britain, the United States and Canada agreed to release their individual copyrights for 3000 sets only, and that no other complete edition of Churchill's works would be published until the expiration of international copyright in 2019.
The Works were promoted with a set of impressive testimonials. Lady Churchill, who wrote the Foreword to Volume 1, said the books would have given Sir Winston, "enormous pleasure." She presented the first set to Prime Minister Edward Heath, who called it "a great venture which will at once mark the centenary of his birth and preserve the memory of his life and his writing for future generations." Lord Avon (Anthony Eden) referred to "this splendid edition." John Diefenbaker said it was "the finest tribute there could be". Sir Robert Menzies wished it "great success," and Prime Minister Norman Kirk of New Zealand said that free men everywhere would "cherish these wonderful volumes."
Quite a set of recommendations.
Yet opinion among bibliophiles was less uniformly enthusiastic, and not long in coming - notably in ICS's quarterly magazine entitled 'Finest Hour', over the byline of editor Dalton Newfield, (the source of this information).
In issue 29 of December 1973, under the heading "Triumph? No, Tragedy!", Mr Newfield said the Works were "tragic news because thousands of students of Churchill's life will never be able to own this wonderful work, indeed few will ever even see it, and even the vastly wealthy American libraries could not find the $2500 for an edition so expensive (in those days) - let alone allow such a set of rare books normal circulation".
As there is no library in which one can find all of Sir Winston's works; this edition changed nothing.
By limiting the edition to 3000, Mr Newfield continued, "the family and their publishers revealed their hand completely."
The Works were "obviously canted toward dealers and speculators" and even the claim that a substantial part of the proceeds ... will be used to further the work of the Churchill Centenary Trust, Churchill College Cambridge and the Winston Churchill Foundation in the United States' helps very little.
3000 x $2500 = $7,500,000 and for that kind of money the promoters can (and obviously have) said "to hell with ordinary people".
There was no valid reason why the plates could not be used on ordinary paper, in ordinary binding, for an ordinary profit in addition to the deluxe binding, except that the deluxe could not be sold for such an inordinate price if this were done."
Mr Newfield ventured to hope that the publishers might see fit to issue individual volumes in ordinary bindings: "How fine it would be to have even a reprint of Mr. Broderick's Army on the shelf." This thin hope was not, as he expected, satisfied, but we were all gainers: Dalton went on to publish himself beautiful facsimiles of Broderick and Free Trade which are still available today.
"What pains most is that it was all so un' Churchillian," Mr Newfield concluded.
"WSC was not unconscious of money - quite the contrary - but he did put out abridgements, cheap editions, etc., so that people at all levels could enjoy his works.
"I am more than a little surprised that the Churchill Family gave their support to this money-grubbing project and look forward to learning what's substantial part of the proceeds' really means. It would be wonderful to own such a work. It would be wonderful if my libraries could own such a work and let alone use it. It would be wonderful if greed were not always the family's motive". (Article written in 1976).
December 1999 - nothing has changed in the intervening 25 years.
The family still receive huge royalties from all Churchill's writings - all of which are covered by the new extended copyright legislation which for these papers now goes on until 2035. And the copyright payments still on THE CHARTWELL PAPERS - in spite of the nation being blackmailed into buying them by Churchill's children and the family having been paid £12,500,000 (12.5 million pounds) to stop them doing so. Money which, at the moment the family took it, became drenched in the blood of all those who suffered and died in the war.
The managers at Churchill College and The Churchill Archive Centre did not include the copyright of these papers in the sale price!
The family are still taking royalties on them. (2000).
__________________________ We desire to be judged only by results Winston Churchill. House of Commons
February 11th 1943
Winston Churchill's Medals.
It was announced yesterday by Winston Churchill (minor) that he had presented on loan his grandfather's medals to the Imperial War Museum for display at the cabinet war rooms.
What he failed to reveal, was that in doing so he saves himself the fear of being burgled for them - almost certainly the heavy expense of insuring them - and whether or not he has paid the inheritance tax on them*.
Sensible man you say..............until you remember the shameful thing he and the family did when they blackmailed the effete Prime Minister John Major and his Conservative government and the nation to pay him £12,500,000 for the on loan Chartwell papers and for which the family still continue to charge outrageous copyright fees.
There is nothing to stop him or his children doing the same thing again. Likewise with the on loan contents of Chartwell.
_______________________________________________ The Times Newspaper
September 7th 1998
Mr Mark Thomas has accepted a position advising Chancellor Gordon Brown about reforming the tax system to ensure that rich people cannot cheat.
Mr Thomas was invited after his television programme revealed that Nicholas Soames (Churchill's grandson and Conservative MP and former Minister) * avoided paying inheritance tax on family heirlooms he had been left, by listing them as available to public inspection when they were not.
Where are all the many missing majestic jewelled silver and gold boxes,
the superb commemorative cut glass and enamelled plaques and mementos
and the spectacularly bejewelled solid gold and silver sculptural pieces
that were bestowed upon Churchill by foreign Kings and Queens
and the huge number of gifts given in his honour by Governments from all over the world
including many from Arab Royalty and the Emirates - all of which were originally on display
at Chartwell when it first opened and which are now missing?
It was Sir Winston's desire that all of these should be permanently on display at Chartwell.
.________________________ The only people Churchill never forgave were those who,
in the words he so often used:-
"fell beneath the level of events" _______________________
Because of his record Mr W S Churchill's appointment as Chairman of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust
is as astonishing as it is improper and he must resign.
The story of the Churchill family and their friends promotion (in 1988) of the West End Musical with 'Winnie' singing in his bath! After three performances it was taken off. It was reputed to have lost £3 million pounds and was described by a Buckingham Palace courtier as "just done for money, money, money . . . . vulgar vulgar vulgar!"
The Churchill family to pay back The Lottery Money.
The High Court (London) proceedings. Who owned the Chartwell Papers?
How safe are the contents of Chartwell?
Copy of correspondence with The National Trust.
Churchill's daughter Mary Soames,
Churchill's grandson Nicholas Soames,
Churchill's grandson Winston Churchill minor.
'Conservative Party sleaze added to the continuing collapse of moral standards in the UK. From 1983 onwards it gathered pace and led to the national uproar caused by the the story of the Churchill family threatening to sell Sir Winston and Lady Churchill's gift to Churchill College of The Chartwell Papers.
Lord Rothschild's letter.
February 13 2000 The Sunday Times Newspaper
London. A copyright article.
Lottery-funded Churchills' charge academics £50 a letter.
The very sad press chronology of Winston S Churchill Jnr.
Professor Charmley writes: Is there no end to the making of money by the family our of Sir Winston?
Commercial advertising. Cashing in on Churchill. Who authorised this crude example?
Criticisms of the book 'Churchill's Private Letters' selected, edited, and published by his daughter Mary Soames.
May 1999. Important information.
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