Winston Churchill was born on November 30, 1874, at Blenheim Palace, the famous palace near Oxford that was built by the nation for John Churchill, the first duke of Marlborough. Blenheim meant a lot to Winston Churchill. It was there that he became engaged to his wife, Clementine Ogilvy Hozier. He later wrote his historical masterpiece, The Life and Times of John Churchill, Duke of Marlborough.
With English on his father’s side and American on his mother’s, Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill expressed the national qualities of both his parents. His name proves the richness of his historic background: Winston, after the Royalist family, who the Churchills married before the English Civil War; Leonard, after his remarkable grandfather, Leonard Jerome of New York; Spencer, the married name of a daughter of the first duke of Marlborough, from who the family descended; Churchill, the family name of the first duke, which his descendants maintained after the Battle of Waterloo. All these strands come together in a career that had no resemblance in British history for richness, length, and achievement. Churchill took a leading part in laying the foundations of the welfare state in Britain, in preparing the Royal Navy for World War I, and in settling the political boundaries in the Middle East after the war. In World War II he began as the leader of the United British Nation and Commonwealth to resist the German domination of Europe, as an inspirer of the resistance among free people, and as a prime architect of victory. In this, and in the struggle against communism later, he made himself an essential link between the British and American people, for he saw that the best defense for the free world was for the English-speaking people to come together. (Down 133).Strongly historically minded, he also had predictive foresight: British-American unity was the message of his last great book, A History of the English-speaking Peoples.
He was a combination of a soldier, writer, artist, and statesman. He was not so good as a party politician. He stands out not only as a great man of action, but as a writer of it too. He was a genius; as a man he was charming, happy, and enthusiastic.
As for personal faults, he was bound to be a great egoist; so strong a personality was likely to be overbearing. He was something of a gambler, always too willing to take risks. In his earlier career, people thought him of unbalanced judgment partly from the very excess of his energies and gifts. That is the worst that can be said of himWe know all there is to know about him; there was no disguise. His father, Lord Randolph Churchill, was a younger son of the seventh duke of Marlborough.
His mother was Jennie Jerome; and as her mother, Clara Hall, was one-quarter Iroquois, Sir Winston had an Indian strain in him. Lord Randolph, a brilliant Conservative leader who had been chancellor of the exchequer in his 30’s, died when he was only 46, after ruining his career. His son wrote that one could not grow up in that household without realizing that there had been a disaster in the background. It was an early spur to him to try to make up for his gifted father’s failure, not only in politics and in writing, but on the turf. Young Winston, though the grandson of a duke, had to make his own way in the world, earning his living by his mouth and his pen. In this he had the leadership of his mother, who was always courageous and fearless. Rejoining his regiment, he was sent to serve in India. Here, besides his addiction to polo, he went on seriously with his education, which in his case was mostly self-education.
His mother sent him boxes of books, and Churchill absorbed the whole of Gibbon and Macaulay, and a lot of Darwin. The influence of these authors is noticed through all his writings and in his way of looking at things. The influence of Darwin is distinct in his philosophy of life: that all life is a struggle, the chances of survival favor the fittest, chance is a great element in