London: George Newnes, Ltd., 1937. First edition. Periodical. This May, 1937 special issue of The Strand Magazine (Vol. XCIII, No. 557) commemorating the Coronation of George VI contains the first published appearance of Winston Churchill’s essay on the King. The authorial distance of the article belies the remarkably close relationship these two men would develop during the crucible of the Second World War and its aftermath. Churchill's official biographer, Sir Martin Gilbert, noted that for this article Churchill merely added several sentences to a text written by Marshall Diston, a journalist who Churchill occasionally employed as ghost writer. Churchill wrote to Diston, “I have found your draft for the article on King George the Sixth so very helpful that instead of the usual fee, I hope you will let me increase it to £20.”
George VI (1895-1952) became King in 1937 after his elder brother, Edward VIII, famously abdicated to marry his twice-divorced American mistress. Churchill had supported Edward during the crisis, to his political cost. During the Second World War, King George was reluctant for Churchill to succeed Neville Chamberlain, but after Churchill became Prime Minister in 1940, he and the King developed what has been described as "the closest personal relationship in modern British history between a monarch and a Prime Minister". The King died on 6 February 1952, during Churchill’s second and final premiership.
Churchill’s fifteen minute broadcast speech to the nation the next day was a moving tribute to the both the man himself and the monarchy he had ably rescued from his brother: “…there struck a deep and solemn note in our lives which, as it resounded far and wide, stilled the clatter and traffic of twentieth-century life in many lands…” Churchill’s article fills pages 14-23 and is generously illustrated throughout by photographs of the King. This magazine approaches very good condition, particularly considering the inherent fragility of the format. The covers are bright, clean, complete, and firmly attached, with only minor wear to the extremities. The red spine is bright and complete with some minor wear overall. The contents are complete, clean, and bright with no markings or spotting. This article was subsequently collected in Collected Essays, Vol III at pages 303-10.
Reference: Cohen C530, Woods C336. Item #005050