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CHURCHILL, WINSTON - A TLS about 'Colonel Durrani's gift and the book,' 'The Sixth Column'
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CHURCHILL, WINSTON - A TLS about 'Colonel Durrani's gift and the book,' 'The Sixth Column'

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CHURCHILL, WINSTON. (1874-1965). British statesman and author; Prime Minister from 1940-45, and 1951-55. TLS. (“Winston S. Churchill”). 1p. 8vo. Roquebrune, France, January 3, 1956. On his Hyde Park stationery, the address of which Churchill has crossed out and typed over with the address, “La Pausa, Roquebrune A[lpes] M[aritimes].” To book editor and noted bibliophile DESMOND FLOWER (1907-1997).


Thank you very much for sending Colonel Durrani’s gift and the book, which I look forward to reading. I have written to thank him for his thought of me. Yours very sincerely…


Churchill distinguished himself as a soldier, author and statesman, rising to the height of fame as England’s prime minister during World War II. From 1945, when the Labor party regained power, until 1951, when a Conservative victory again made him prime minister, Churchill continued to write and champion the cause of British security and world peace. It was during these years that he began his six-volume history, The Second World War published by Cassell.


Despite contemplating a career in the antiquarian book world, Flower followed in his father’s footsteps, joining the venerable publishing firm of Cassell’s in 1930. “Almost the last thing that Flower did before joining the Army in 1940 was to prepare the first volume of Churchill’s wartime speeches,” (“Obituary: Desmond Flower,” The Independent, March 31, 1997). After the war, Flower returned to rebuild the war-torn Cassell’s. “In this, Churchill’s six-volume history The Second World War (1948-54) was a gigantic asset,” (ibid.). For The Second World War Churchill won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1953, after which he continued to collaborate with Cassell’s on the publication of subsequent works.


La Pausa is a villa on the French Riviera built by French fashion designer Coco Chanel. In 1953, she sold it to Hungarian publisher and literary agent Emery Reves, who acquired it with the proceeds earned from the foreign language rights of Churchill’s Second World War. Churchill was a frequent guest at La Pausa, which he nicknamed “Pausaland.” Beginning with his first visit in 1956 until 1960, Churchill spent a total of 54 weeks at Emery’s home, where he had his own floor that included an office for his private secretary and a suite for his wife, Clementine. La Pausa is currently available for sale for 40 million Euros.


Lieutenant Colonel Mahmood Khan Durrani (1914-1995) fought in World War II’s Malayan Campaign as a member of the British Indian Army. He was taken prisoner by the Japanese, an ordeal which permanently affected his health, and was awarded, in 1946, the George Cross for acts of heroism, and he is the only recipient of the George Cross to survive Japanese captivity. His medal is on display at London’s Imperial War Museum. In 1955, Durrani published his autobiography,The Sixth Column, undoubtedly the book referred to in our letter. He continued to serve in the military, retiring from Pakistan’s army in 1971.


A small file hole in the upper left corner, otherwise in extremely fine condition.


Item #18180


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