The Churchill Documents, Volume 3: Early Years in Politics, 1901-1907
This volume of The Churchill Documents covers the years 1901 to 1907. The second letter, which rightfully belongs in Volume 2, was only found after that volume had been printed. It contains Churchill’s fullest recorded reflections on religion.
The writings in Volume 3 mine a rich seam of correspondence, and include the first speech that Churchill made in the House of Commons. It examines his activities as a new Member of Parliament–his determination to fight for the maintenance of Free Trade within the Conservative Party and his failure to do so–culminating in his decision to leave the Conservative Party and join the opposition Liberal Party, for whom he helped fight a successful election. He was then brought into government as Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies.
During this period he also wrote a two-volume biography of his father. In addition to the Churchill Papers-now at Churchill College, Cambridge-this volume contains letters from the archives of those to whom Churchill wrote, and from the archives of the publishing company that published his book Lord Randolph Churchill. It includes Churchill’s letters to his mother, letters that range over every aspect of his public and private life.
Included as well are letters from his American friend Bourke Cockran, from Frank Harris, who acted as his literary agent, and from Lord Hugh Cecil, his closest friend at that time, with whom he sought to break the mould of politics.
The correspondence in this volume shows a young man in a hurry, but with strong convictions and clear abilities, one determined to make his mark on the national stage.