All Things Churchill

Wherever you are, whilst I have life, my soul shall follow you my ever dear Ld Marl and wherever I am, I shall only kill the time, wish for night that I may sleep and hope the next day to hear from you….

Sarah to Marlborough

I love History. It is my passion and the main reason I started this blog. And I love British history. Like to distraction. I would rather read about British history over anything in particular the Stuart era. My favorite people from that era are John and Sarah Churchill, the Duke and Duchess of Marlborough.

John Churchill, Duke of Marlborough
Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough

I’m endlessly fascinated by them, their relationship with each other and with others, and the events they lived through.  In the past five years I’ve been able to travel to two important houses in their lives:  Blenheim Palace and Althorp.  Blenheim is a mammoth place.  There is so much to see there and it was a bit overwhelming to me at first.  I want to visit again to see more of the rooms and their treasures.  

Althorp (from my visit last summer)

At Althorp, you can see the final resting place of Diana, Princess of Wales.   She is a direct descendant of the Churchills through their daughter Anne.  During the widowhood of the duchess, she tried, in vain, to marry her granddaughter, Lady Diana Spencer, to the Prince of Wales.  She eventually got her wish….just a few hundred years later.  I think the Duke and Duchess would be proud to know that counted among their descendants, besides Diana, is one of the greatest statesmen in history,  Sir Winston Churchill, and the future king of England.  The Duke and Duchess wanted to found a great dynasty and they achieved that ambition.  

The next few posts shall be about them. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

Blenheim Palace (from my visit a few years back)

Pray believe me when I asure you that I love you more then I can expresse…

Marlborough to Sarah

My encounter with Hemingway

My happy place

“I’m not brave any more darling. I’m all broken. They’ve broken me.

 Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms

My first encounter with A Farewell to Arms was through the 1932 movie version with Gary Cooper and Helen Hayes:

Gary Cooper and Helen Hayes in 1032’s A Farewell to Arms

It soon became one of my favorite Gary Cooper movies and, like I usually do, I wanted to read the original story so I picked up the Hemingway book.I’ve never spent much time with Hemingway, only Old Man and the Sea(thumbs down) and A Moveable Feast (thumbs up). So I wasn’t very curious about Hemingway until I saw this movie but I’m a sucker for romantic tragedies and thought I’d give this book a try after watching the movie. Having finished it, yesterday, my first thought was that the movie was quite different and more tragic than the book.  

SPOILERS follow if you haven’t seen the movie.

In the movie, Frederic deserts the Italian army and finds his way to Catherine not knowing she is pregnant and has left for Switzerland. Once he finally is reunited with her, it is too late and she dies in his arms. Reading the book, I knew Catherine would die but I didn’t know that she and Frederic had time together before tragedy befalls them. Knowing that they have the time together, for me, lessened the tragic punch of the story. Also, Frederic’s reasons for leaving the army are different which, in the book, makes the desertion more understandable.

I found the dialogue in the book to be repetitive, with all the “you’re a fine girl”, etc. Is Hemingway always like this? Is there another Hemingway novel I should read? 

All in all, I enjoyed the book but prefer the movie, which I found more romantic and sad (plus it did have Gary Cooper).

Welcome to My World

A library is the delivery room for the birth of ideas, a place where history comes to life.

Norman Cousins

Welcome to my blog. I am a librarian by day and a history lover by night and this blog will be an expression of that love (mainly). I also love books, old movies, and travel so I hope to tie all of these interests together here. I hope you enjoy my musings.