Winston Churchill, in addition to his careers of soldier and politician, was a prolific writer under the pen name "Winston S. Churchill". After being commissioned into the 4th Queen's Own Hussars in 1895, Churchill gained permission to observe the Cuban War of Independence, and sent war reports to The Daily Graphic. He continued his war journalism in British India, at the Siege of Malakand, then in the Sudan during the Mahdist War and in southern Africa during the Second Boer War.

Churchill's fictional output included one novel and a short story, but his main output comprised non-fiction. After he was elected as an MP, over 130 of his speeches or parliamentary answers were also published in pamphlets or booklets; many were subsequently published in collected editions. Churchill received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1953 "for his mastery of historical and biographical description as well as for brilliant oratory in defending exalted human values".[2]

Writing career

In 1895 Winston Churchill was commissioned cornet (second lieutenant) into the 4th Queen's Own Hussars. His annual pay was £300, and he calculated he needed an additional £500 to support a style of life equal to that of other officers of the regiment. To earn the required funds, he gained his colonel's agreement to observe the Cuban War of Independence; his mother, Lady Randolph Churchill, used her influence to secure a contract for her son to send war reports to The Daily Graphic. He was subsequently posted back to his regiment, then based in British India, where he took part in, and reported on the Siege of Malakand; the reports were published in The Pioneer and The Daily Telegraph. The reports formed the basis of his first book, The Story of the Malakand Field Force, which was published in 1898. To relax he also wrote his only novel, Savrola, which was published in 1898. That same year he was transferred to the Sudan to take part in the Mahdist War (1881–99), where he participated in the Battle of Omdurman in September 1898. He published his recollections in The River War (1899).

In 1899 Churchill resigned his commission and travelled to South Africa as the correspondent with The Morning Post, on a salary of £250 a month plus all expenses, to report on the Second Boer War. He was captured by the Boers in November that year, but managed to escape. He remained in the country and continued to send in his reports to the newspaper. He subsequently published his despatches in two works, London to Ladysmith via Pretoria and Ian Hamilton's March (both 1900). He returned to Britain in 1900 and was elected as the Member of parliament for the Oldham constituency at that year's general election.

As a serving MP he began publishing pamphlets containing his speeches or answers to key parliamentary questions. Beginning with Mr Winston Churchill on the Education Bill (1902), over 135 such tracts were published over his career. Many of these were subsequently compiled into collections, several of which were edited by his son, Randolph and others of which were edited by Charles Eade, the editor of the Sunday Dispatch. In addition to his parliamentary duties, Churchill wrote a two-volume biography of his father, Lord Randolph Churchill, published in 1906, in which he "presented his father as a tory with increasingly radical sympathies", according to the historian Paul Addison.

In the 1923 general election Churchill lost his parliamentary seat and moved to the south of France where he wrote The World Crisis, a six-volume history of the First World War, published between 1923 and 1931. The book was well-received, although the former Prime Minister Arthur Balfour dismissed the work as "Winston's brilliant autobiography, disguised as world history". At the 1924 general election Churchill returned to the Commons. In 1930 he wrote his first autobiography, My Early Life, after which he began his researches for Marlborough: His Life and Times (1933–38), a four-volume biography of his ancestor, John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough. Before the final volume was published, Churchill wrote a series of biographical profiles for newspapers, which were later collected together and published as Great Contemporaries (1937).

In May 1940, eight months after the outbreak of the Second World War, Churchill became Prime Minister. He wrote no histories during his tenure, although several collections of his speeches were published. At the end of the war he was voted out of office at the 1945 election; he returned to writing and, with a research team headed by the historian William Deakin, produced a six-volume history, The Second World War (1948–53). The books became a best-seller in both the UK and US. Churchill served as Prime Minister for a second time between October 1951 and April 1955 before resigning the premiership; he continued to serve as an MP until 1964. His final major work was the four-volume work A History of the English-Speaking Peoples (1956–58). In 1953 Churchill was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "for his mastery of historical and biographical description as well as for brilliant oratory in defending exalted human values".[2] Churchill was almost always well paid as an author and, for most of his life, writing was his main source of income. He produced a huge portfolio of written work; the journalist and historian Paul Johnson estimates that Churchill wrote an estimated eight to ten million words in more than forty books, thousands of newspaper and magazine articles, and at least two film scripts.

American novelist of the same name

In 1899 Churchill became aware of the American novelist of the same name. He wrote to his American contemporary and offered to sign his own works "Winston Spencer Churchill", adding the first half of his double-barrelled surname, Spencer-Churchill, which he did not otherwise use. In practice the middle name was turned into an initial, and his pen name subsequently appeared as "Winston S. Churchill". The two men met in Boston the following year.[4]


The non-fiction work of Churchill
Title[5]Year of first
First edition publisherNotes
The Story of the Malakand Field Force1898Longman, London
The River War1899Longman, LondonEdited by Colonel Francis Rhodes; two volumes; reissued in 1901 as a single work
London to Ladysmith via Pretoria1900Longman, London & New York
Ian Hamilton's March1900Longman, London & New York
Lord Randolph Churchill1906Macmillan Publishers, LondonTwo volumes
My African Journey1908Hodder & Stoughton, London
The World Crisis1923-31Butterworth, LondonSix volumes; abridged and revised into one volume in 1931

1 1911–1914 (1923)
2 1915 (1923)
3 1916–1918 (Part 1) (1927)
4 1916–1918 (Part 2) (1927)
5 The Aftermath (1929)
6 The Eastern Front (1931)

My Early Life1930Butterworth, LondonPublished in the US as A Roving Commission: My Early Life
Thoughts and Adventures1932Butterworth, LondonPublished in the US as Amid These Storms
Marlborough: His Life and Times1933-38Butterworth, LondonFour volumes
Great Contemporaries1937Butterworth, LondonRevised and enlarged edition published in 1938
The Second World War1948-53Cassell, LondonSix volumes, consisting of:

1 The Gathering Storm (1948)
2 Their Finest Hour (1949)
3 The Grand Alliance (1950)
4 The Hinge of Fate (1950)
5 Closing the Ring (1951)
6 Triumph and Tragedy (1953)

Painting as a Pastime1948Odhams Press, London
A History of the English-Speaking Peoples1956-58Cassell, LondonFour volumes, consisting of:

1 The Birth of Britain (1956)
2 The New World (1956)
3 The Age of Revolution (1957)
4 The Great Democracies (1958)


Churchill's fictional work
Title[5]Year of first
First edition publisherNotes
Savrola1900Longman, LondonNovel; first appeared in serial form in Macmillan's Magazine 1898–1900
The Dream1947Longman, New YorkShort story

Collected speeches

There are around 135 published booklets of Churchill's individual speeches, including "Mr Winston Churchill on the Education Bill" (1902), "The Fiscal Puzzle: Both Sides Explained by Leading Men'" (1903), "Why I am a Free Trader" (1905) and "Prisons and Prisoners" (1910); the following are speeches published in a collected form.

Collected books of Churchill's speeches
Title[5]Year of first
First edition publisherNotes
Mr Broderick's Army1903Humphreys, London
For Free Trade1906Humphreys, London
Liberalism and the Social Problem1909Hodder & Stoughton, London
The People's Rights1910Hodder & Stoughton, London
Parliamentary Government and the Economic Problem1930The Clarendon Press, Oxford
India: Speeches and an Introduction1931Butterworth, London
Arms and the Covenant1938George G. Harrap and Co., LondonEdited by Randolph Churchill; published in the US as While England Slept
Step by Step: 1936–19391939Butterworth, LondonEdited by Randolph Churchill
Addresses Delivered1940Ransohoffs, San Francisco
Into Battle1941Butterworth, LondonEdited by Randolph Churchill; published in the US as Blood, Sweat and Tears
Broadcast Addresses1941Ransohoffs, San Francisco
The Unrelenting Struggle1942Cassell, LondonEdited by Charles Eade
The End of the Beginning1943Cassell, LondonEdited by Charles Eade
Winston Churchill, Prime Minister1943British Information Services, New York
Onwards to Victory1944Cassell, LondonEdited by Charles Eade
The Dawn of Liberation1945Cassell, LondonEdited by Charles Eade
Victory1946Cassell, LondonEdited by Charles Eade
Secret Sessions Speeches1946Cassell, LondonEdited by Charles Eade; published in the US as Winston Churchill's Secret Sessions Speeches
War Speeches1946Cassell, LondonEdited by F B Czarnomskí
World Spotlight Turns on Westminster1946Westminster College, Fulton, MO
The Sinews of Peace1948Cassell, LondonEdited by Randolph Churchill
Europe Unite: Speeches 1947 and 19481950Cassell, LondonEdited by Randolph Churchill
In the Balance: Speeches 1949 and 19501951Cassell, LondonEdited by Randolph Churchill
The War Speeches1952Cassell, LondonEdited by Charles Eade
Stemming the Tide: Speeches 1951 and 19521953Cassell, LondonEdited by Randolph Churchill
The Wisdom of Sir Winston Churchill1956Allen & Unwin, London
The Unwritten Alliance: Speeches 1953 and 19591961Cassell, LondonEdited by Randolph Churchill
Winston S. Churchill: His Complete Speeches1974Chelsea House, New YorkEdited by Robert Rhodes James


Title[5]Year of first
First edition publisherNotes
Charles, IXth Duke of Marlborough, KG Tributes by Rt Hon W Spencer-Churchill and C C Martindale1934Burns, Oates & Co, LondonWith C C Martindale; reprinted from The Times
Maxims and Reflections1948Eyre & Spottiswoode, LondonCollection; revised and enlarged in 1954 as Sir Winston Churchill: A Self-Portrait
The Eagle Book of Adventure Stories1950Hulton Press, LondonWith others
King George VI: The Prime Minister's Broadcast, February 7, 19521952A J St Onge, Worcester, MA
Winston Churchill's Anti-Depression Proposal to Halt Inflation, Stabilize Prosperity, and Insure Full Freedom1958Public Revenue Education Council, St. Louis, MO
Churchill: His Paintings1967Hamish Hamilton, LondonCompiled by David Coombs and Minnie Churchill (later Mary Soames)
The Roar of the Lion1969Allan Wingate, London
Joan of Arc1969Dodd, Mead and Company, New York
Winston Churchill on America and Britain: A Selection of His Thoughts on America and Britain1970WalkerForeword by Lady Churchill
If It Had Happened Otherwise1972Sidgwick and Jackson, LondonWith others
Young Winston's Wars: The Original Dispatches of Winston S. Churchill, War Correspondent, 1897–19001972Sphere Books, London
Great Issues 71: A Forum on Important Questions Facing the American Public1972Troy State University, Troy, ALWith John Glubb
If I Live My Life Again1974W H Allen, London
The Collected Poems of Sir Winston Churchill1981Sun & Moon Press, College Park, MDCollected and edited by F. John Herbert
Churchill and Roosevelt: The Complete Correspondence1984Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJEdited with commentary by Warren F. Kimball
Memories and Adventures1989Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London
Winston Churchill and Emery Reves: Correspondence, 1937–19641997University of Texas Press, Austin, TX
Speaking for Themselves: The Personal Letters of Winston and Clementine Churchill1998Doubleday, LondonEdited by Mary Soames