An original press photo of Sir Winston S. Churchill shaking hands with Prime Minister Anthony Eden outside 10 Downing Street on 15 February 1956
An original press photo of Sir Winston S. Churchill shaking hands with Prime Minister Anthony Eden outside 10 Downing Street on 15 February 1956

An original press photo of Sir Winston S. Churchill shaking hands with Prime Minister Anthony Eden outside 10 Downing Street on 15 February 1956

London: P.A. Reuter Photos Ltd., 16 February 1956. Photograph. This original press photo of Sir Winston S. Churchill shows him smoking a cigar and shaking the hand of his successor, Prime Minister Anthony Eden, as he leaves 10 Downing Street. This press photo once belonged to The Daily Telegraph’s working archive. The image measures 10 x 8 in (25.4 x 20.3 cm) on matte photo paper. Condition is good plus. there is some loss to the upper left corner, original crop marks, light edge wear, and intermittent bruising. This image features original, hand-applied retouching of the figures’ clothing. The verso bears the copyright stamp of “P.A.-Reuter Photos Ltd.”, a published stamp of The Daily Telegraph from 16 February 1956, remnants of a typed caption, handwritten printing notes, and a clipping of the caption as it was printed. The caption, partially lost, reads: “SIR WINSTON CHURCHILL LUNCHES AT No. … Anthony Eden shaking hands with Sir Winston Chur… side 10, Downing Street yesterday, as Sir Winston… lunching with the Prime Minister.” In the image Eden is displaying a wide smile of the sort that would prove elusive during his brief and turbulent premiership, which had begun less than a year prior in April 1955. For good or ill, Anthony Eden’s (1897-1977) life became inextricably tied to that of Winston Churchill, arguably defining and empowering Eden but also delaying and diminishing him. As early as age seventeen, Eden had noted admiration for Churchill in his diary. The appreciation proved mutual. In 1938, Eden famously resigned from his Foreign Secretary post over then-Prime Minister Chamberlain’s appeasement policies. Of the man and the moment, Churchill later wrote in The Gathering Storm: “There seemed one strong young figure standing up against long, dismal drawling tides of drift and surrender...” During the Second World War, Eden became Churchill’s trusted lieutenant. “Eden was twenty-three years younger than Churchill and in many ways the son he wished he had.” (Roberts, Walking with Destiny, p.624) Eden was one of the few regularly willing and able to vigorously – and often effectively - oppose Churchill from a position of unimpeachable trust. It was assumed by many, including Eden, that Eden would succeed Churchill as Conservative Party leader after the Second World War. Churchill encouraged this assumption. Beginning as early as 1941, Historian Andrew Roberts cites “the first of fifteen years of such promises to Eden, of which the kindest thing that can [be] said was that he [Churchill] meant them at the time.” (WwD, pp.599-600) “Eden’s tragedy was that, for all Churchill’s faults… he was a world-historical figure and a giant on the international stage… Eden was none of those things…” (WwD, p.897) Whatever Eden’s shortcomings, there is no doubt of his either his sacrifices or service. In the First World War, Eden lost both an older and younger brother and became the youngest brigade major in the British Army. In the Second World War, he lost his eldest son – a loss which, along with politics and the War, also cost him his first marriage. (ODNB) His second marriage (1952) was to Churchill’s niece. Eden would ultimately wait in the wings – both while the Conservatives were in opposition (1945-1951) and during Churchill’s second and final premiership (1951-1955) for nearly a decade after the end of the Second World War. And Eden’s long-awaited premiership (1955-1957) proved fraught and arguably diminished, rather than crowning, his stature and reputation. By January 1957, he had resigned the premiership he had so long sought, undone by both ill health and the Suez crisis. Nonetheless, the passage of time sees Eden "increasingly recognized as a serious and patriotic figure who worked under the most appalling pressure for nearly three decades at the front line of British and world politics." (ODNB). Item #005450

Price: $75.00

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