The Info List - My Early Life

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My Early Life, also known in the USA as A Roving Commission: My Early Life, is a 1930 book by Winston Churchill. It is an autobiography from his birth in 1874 up to approximately 1902. A significant portion of the book covers his experiences in the Second Boer War of 1899-1902 which he had earlier described in London to Ladysmith via Pretoria (1900) and Ian Hamilton's March
Ian Hamilton's March
(1900). It also includes descriptions of other campaigns he had previously written about: The River War
The River War
(1899), concerning the reconquest of Sudan, and The Story of the Malakand Field Force
The Story of the Malakand Field Force
(1898) in today's Pakistan. The book begins by describing his childhood and schooldays, and provides context for the earlier accounts.


1 Background 2 Book 3 Reception 4 Film 5 Publication history 6 References 7 External links


Churchill aged 21 as a subaltern in the 4th Hussars, 1895

The introduction notes that Churchill endeavoured to write the book from his point of view at the time of the events, but it contains different commentaries on the events described in the other books, many of which were originally written as contemporary newspaper columns. From his perspective of writing in 1930, he notes that he has 'drawn a picture of a vanished age'. The book also notes an observation by the French ambassador to Britain between 1900 and 1920, that during his time a silent revolution had occurred which totally replaced the ruling class of Britain. The book was published after the Conservative Party lost the 1929 election and consequently Churchill ceased to be a member of the government. He occupied himself instead writing a number of books, which together with public speaking was his chief source of income throughout his life. However, most of My Early Life
My Early Life
was written during the parliamentary recess in the summer of 1928. He wrote to Stanley Baldwin, "I have had a delightful month - building a cottage and dictating a book: 200 bricks and 2000 words per day."[1] The first English edition published by Thornton Butterworth in October 1930 sold 11,200 copies, and the American edition published by Charles Scribner's Sons sold 6,600. Scribner's titled the book by the name of its UK subtitle, A Roving Commission. It was translated into thirteen languages. It has been considered by some to be his best book and one of the outstanding works of the 20th century. This is because it was deliberately written to be much shorter than his typical books, with a slight sense of irony and an intention to entertain. It contains a certain level of self-mockery alongside criticism of others he encountered. Unlike some other of his works, it did not seek to prove any particular point.[2] The book includes an observation made upon the death of his nanny. He wrote "She had been my dearest and most intimate friend during the whole of the twenty years I had lived."[3] Book[edit]

1. Childhood 2. Harrow 3. Examinations 4. Sandhurst 5. The Fourth Hussars 6. Cuba 7. Hounslow 8. India 9. Education at Bangalore 10. The Malakand Field Force (in today's Pakistan) 11. The Mamund Valley 12. The Tirah Expedition 13. A Difficulty with Kitchener 14. The Eve of Omdurman (in today's Sudan) 15. The Sensations of a Cavalry Charge 16. I Leave the Army 17. Oldham 18. With Buller to the Cape 19. The Armoured Train (in today's South Africa) 20. In Durance Vile 21. I Escape from the Boers-I 22. I Escape from the Boers-II 23. Back to the Army 24. Spion Kop 25. The Relief of Ladysmith 26. In the Orange Free State 27. Johannesburg and Pretoria 28. The Khaki Election 29. The House of Commons


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Film[edit] The film Young Winston
Young Winston
was based on this book. Publication history[edit]

Thornton Butterworth: London, 1930. Charles Scribner's sons: New York, 1930. 1990. ISBN 0-7493-0202-X (paperback) Eland: London, 2000. ISBN 978-0-907871-62-0


^ Jenkins p.421 ^ Roy Jenkins
Roy Jenkins
(2001). Churchill. Macmillan. pp. 420–421. ISBN 0-333-78290-9.  ^ T. E. C. Jr. M.D (5 November 1977). "Winston Churchill's Poignant Description of the Death of his Nanny". Pediatrics. 60: 752. 

External links[edit]

My Early Life. A Roving Commission. at Faded Page (Canada)

v t e

Winston Churchill


Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill
as historian Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill
as painter Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill
as writer Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill
in politics, 1900–1939

Timeline War Rooms conferences Percentages agreement Quebec Agreement

Statement on Atrocities

European Advisory Commission

Honours of Winston Churchill Later life of Winston Churchill

funeral gravesite

The Other Club Blenheim Palace Chartwell


The Story of the Malakand Field Force
The Story of the Malakand Field Force
(1898) Savrola
(1899 novel) The River War
The River War
(1899) London to Ladysmith via Pretoria
London to Ladysmith via Pretoria
(1900) Ian Hamilton's March
Ian Hamilton's March
(1900) Lord Randolph Churchill
Lord Randolph Churchill
(1906) The World Crisis
The World Crisis
(1923–1931, five volumes) My Early Life
My Early Life
(1930) Marlborough: His Life and Times (1933–1938, four volumes) Great Contemporaries
Great Contemporaries
(1937) Arms and the Covenant
Arms and the Covenant
(1938) The Second World War (1948–1963, six volumes) A History of the English-Speaking Peoples
A History of the English-Speaking Peoples
(1956–1958, four volumes)


"Blood, toil, tears, and sweat" "Be ye men of valour" "We shall fight on the beaches" "This was their finest hour" "Never was so much owed by so many to so few" "Iron Curtain"

Legacy and depictions

Palace of Westminster statue Parliament Square statue Washington, DC, statue Epstein bust Memorial Trusts Churchill College, Cambridge Churchill Archives Centre The Churchill Centre US Churchill Museum Cultural depictions Churchillian Drift


Norway Debate Terminological inexactitude Siege of Sidney Street Tonypandy riots May 1940 War Cabinet Crisis Sword of Stalingrad Operation Unthinkable


Lord Randolph Churchill
Lord Randolph Churchill
(father) Jennie Jerome, Lady Randolph Churchill
Lady Randolph Churchill
(mother) Jack Churchill (brother) Clementine Churchill, Baroness Spencer-Churchill (wife) Diana Churchill
Diana Churchill
(daughter) Randolph Churchill
Randolph Churchill
(son) Sarah Churchill (daughter) Marigold Churchill
Marigold Churchill
(daughter) Mary Soames, Baroness Soames (daughter) Descendants John Spencer-Churchill (grandfather) Frances Anne Spencer-Churchill (grandmother) Leonard Jerome
Leonard Jerome
(grandfather) Cla