Great Contemporaries: Winston Churchill and Mark Twain
Featured Image: Churchill circa 1901, when he was introduced by Mark Twain, right, wearing Oxford robes (hon. DCL.). Forty-two years later Churchill, wore Oxford robes (hon. DPhil.) for a key speech at Harvard. The theme on both occasions was Anglo-American unity. (Wikimedia Commons)
It is a wonder how many talented and important people of all ages had more than a casual connection with Winston Churchill. They ranged the world, with different professions and callings too diverse to enumerate. One of the most unlikely was Mark Twain, with whom Churchill shared more than the genius of a great writer.
Churchill and Twain were accomplished speakers. Both loved to talk, to small and large audiences. They were were prodigious authors. Both worked from bed.1 Each experienced bouts of melancholy. Both traveled the world, but loved the comforts of familiar surroundings. They dressed the part they played to dramatize their unique self-images. Coincidentally, they were born on the same day, November 30th, thirty-nine years apart. Churchill, who doted on Twain’s books as a boy, was born to, was born to, yet often mocked, the British establishment. Twain seemed born to annoy and mock the American Establishment. Each admired the other’s country.
Mark Twain, christened Samuel Langhorne Clemens, first met Churchill in 1899 in London. They were attending a party thrown by Gilbert Parker, a Canadian-born novelist who became a British Member of Parliament. Churchill was twenty-four, Twain sixty-three. In 1907, Twain returned to England to accept an honorary doctorate from Oxford. That June he dined with Parker, and talked of “that soaring and brilliant young statesman, Winston Churchill.” Parker told Twain what the Liberal politician, Sir William Vernon Harcourt, said about his Churchill encounter in 1899:
You [Twain] and Churchill went up to the top floor to have a smoke and a talk, and Harcourt wondered what the result would be. He said that whichever of you got the floor first would keep it to the end, without a break; he believed that you, being old and experienced, would get it and that Churchill’s lungs would have a half‑hour’s rest for the first time in five years. When you two came down, by and by, Sir William asked Churchill if he had had a good time, and he answered eagerly, “Yes.” Then he asked you if you had a good time. You hesitated, then said without eagerness, “I have had a smoke.”2
After an early, failed attempt to quit cigars, Twain had decided that stogies were an important part of the creative process. He said he acquired the habit when only eight years old: “I began with 100 cigars a month, and by the time I was twenty I had increased my allowance to 200 a month. Before I was thirty, I had increased it to 300 a month.”3
Thomas Riley Marshall, Woodrow Wilson’s Vice-President, is renowned for the crack, “What this country needs is a really good five-cent cigar.” Twain’s tastes ran to a similar level. One journalist reported that he smoked Puerto Ricans, “three‑centers and seven‑centers. He prefers the three‑center, because they are ‘just as good’ and cost less.”4 Years later, Twain observed that the cheap quality of his cigars was an affront to his friends: “They betray an unmanly terror when I offer them a cigar; they tell lies and hurry away to meet engagements which they have not made when they are threatened with the hospitalities of my box.”5
Churchill had a much higher standard. He developed a taste for Cuban cigars even before he visited Havana in 1895. Before leaving England on that trip, he told his mother of his intention to stock up on top-quality cigars in Cuba.6 World War II Secretary Elizabeth Layton recalled that Churchill did not smoke
more than eight or ten cigars a day, but these lasted him all day. Indeed, he never seemed happy for a moment without a cigar between his lips unless it was meal‑time. The cigars frequently went out, vast quantities of large‑size matches were used, and a certain amount of time consumed in relighting them. They would burn along nicely at first, but then as their smoker’s thoughts became fully engaged, their fire would die and they would be used merely as a sort of dummy—until their deficiency was noted and relighting performed. It was not good trying to palm off Mr. Churchill with anything but the best cigars, and [valet Frank] Sawyers was always scurrying about to keep a sufficiency in store, all smoker’s requirements being then in short supply.7
But Churchill was quite happy to avoid the expense of his cherished Havanas. Private Secretary John Colville wrote that toward the end of 1940, “the Cuban Minister came to Downing Street in a tall-bodied taxi accompanied by a huge cedar-wood cabinet which contained five thousand of the best Havana cigars. It was, he informed a joyful Mr. Churchill, a token of the admiration which the Government and people of Cuba felt for the saviour of western civilisation.” Alas, that visit was followed next day by one from His Majesty’s Customs and Excise, advising that the Prime Minister owed nearly £10,000 in duty and Purchase Tax. Colville reported the problem to Churchill. He was told: “find a satisfactory solution.” Colville convinced the authorities that a diplomatic calamity would ensue if the PM were forced to return the cigars: “The Lords commissioners gave way with good grace; the requisite instructions were sent to the customs: Churchill kept his cigars; and I kept my job.”8
Kindred with spirits
Like Twain, Churchill enjoyed his liquor. While visiting America on a lecture tour in December 1931, Churchill was seriously injured when struck by a car on Fifth Avenue. With nearly fatal consequences, he had glanced left for traffic half-way across Fifth Avenue and was knocked down. Prohibition was still in effect. When Churchill was released from the hospital, he obtained a note from a New York physician: “This is to certify that the post‑accident convalescence of the Hon. Winston S. Churchill necessitates the use of alcoholic spirits especially at meal times. The quantity is naturally indefinite but the minimum requirements would be 250 cubic centimeters.”
Churchill faced a more intractable problem during World War II, when he was scheduled for dinner with the King of Saudi Arabia. No liquor would be served. Churchill told King Ibn Saud that “my religion prescribed as an absolute sacred ritual smoking cigars and drinking alcohol before, after and if need be during all meals and the intervals between them.” The King, he wrote, offered “complete surrender.”9 During World War II, alcohol was never far from the Prime Minister’s hand. His naval aide “Tommy” Thompson recalled:
At home he usually drank a glass of white wine at lunch, champagne at dinner, and then a glass of port or brandy afterwards…. he disliked afternoon tea, and if he had anything at all at that time he would ask for a whisky heavily diluted with ice and water. Cocktails he avoided altogether. He liked to provide champagne for his guests, but as the war went on champagne became more and more difficult to obtain. I therefore suggested that since champagne agreed with him and our stock was running low he might have half a bottle with his meals while his guests were given something more easily obtainable. This was brushed aside. “What happens if we run out?” I asked. “Get some more!” he said. He obviously thought the question was slightly ridiculous.10
By contrast, Mark Twain observed: “I always take Scotch whisky at night as a preventive of toothache. I have never had the toothache; and what is more, I never intend to have it.” Twain’s standard daily tipple was bourbon, but he learned—unlike Churchill—to enjoy cocktails. His promise to his wife, Olivia, to give up spirits proved as hard to keep as his vow to eschew cigars. Returning from a trip abroad in 1874, he asked her to provide a bottle of Scotch, a lemon, crushed sugar and bitters in the bathroom. “Ever since I have been in London I have taken in a wine glass, what is called a cock‑tail (made with those ingredients) before breakfast, before dinner, & just before going to bed.”11 He added: “Nothing but Angostura bitters will do.”12
Like Churchill, Twain liked to exaggerate his capacity as part of his mystique.. In The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County Twain wrote that upon arriving in San Francisco, two friends advised him to drink a quart of whisky a day: “…that made half a gallon. I did it, and still live.”13 Speaking on his 70th birthday in 1905, Twain declared: “As for drinking, I have no rule about that. When the others drink I like to help.” This is remindful of Churchill’s famous crack: “All I can say is that I have taken more out of alcohol than alcohol has taken out of me.”14
South African adventures
Churchill like Twain made a living by lecturing as well as writing. In their youth, both were war correspondents. Seeking to pay the huge debts he had accumulated from bad business ventures, Twain embarked on a round-the-world lecture tour in 1895.15 In May 1896, a correspondent for The Times of London reported from Johannesburg:
The arrival of Mark Twain, the genial American humourist, who has for so many years delighted millions of readers of all nationalities with his inimitable drollery, is an event in the history of the Rand which, in after years, it will be pleasant to look back upon…. [Twain] insisted that there was nothing like a lecturing tour, which combines business with pleasure, for bracing up the nerves and recuperating the system after it had been run down through over work…. [He was] brilliantly conversational, and, did space permit, much that is interesting could be written of the racy stories he related last evening of his adventures in South Africa and elsewhere…. As an old gold pioneer himself, he takes a keen interest in the cyanide process, and is very anxious to study it.16
The stand-off between Boer and Briton confirmed Twain’s anti-imperialist leanings. He was critical of British colonialism—as he was of his own country’s motives in the Spanish-American War. In his subsequent book, Following the Equator: A Journey Around the World, Twain wrote of the Boer conflict. British business, he said, chafed under the political and financial burdens imposed by the Boer-dominated Transvaal. Cecil Rhodes, Prime Minister of the British Cape Colony, wished to unify “all the South African States into one imposing commonwealth or empire under the shadow and general protection of the British flag….” Rhodes wanted a “bloody collision,” forcing Britain to intervene, and then “add the Transvaal to her South African possessions.”17
Only four years later war was on. Churchill went to South Africa to cover it as a journalist. Helping to defend a British armored train, he was captured, declared a combatant, and jailed in Pretoria. Nothing, he wrote, had been so thrilling as the “ struggle among these clanging, rending iron boxes, with the repeated explosions of the shells and the artillery, the noise of the projectiles striking the cars, the hiss as they passed in the air…with only four inches of twisted iron work to make the difference between danger, captivity, and shame on the one hand—safety, freedom, and triumph on the other.”18
After escaping, Churchill rejoined British forces and took part in the successful attack on Pretoria. He turned his newspaper accounts into his fourth and fifth books, London to Ladysmith via Pretoria and Ian Hamilton’s March. His fame quickly led to a lecture tour in North America—and to another encounter with Mark Twain.
The soldier-turned-journalist hoped to earn £5000 to support his new career as a Member of Parliament (at the time unsalaried). On a wave of patriotic fervor in the October 1900 “Khaki Election,” the ruling Conservatives were returned to office. Churchill was among them, now MP for Oldham, hoping to follow in the footsteps of his deceased father, Lord Randolph Churchill.
The Twain meet again
Aged twenty-six, Churchill met Twain for the second time on 12 December 1900, during the second speech of his North American lecture tour. The venue was the grand ballroom of the Waldorf Astoria, then located where the Empire State building now stands. The official invitation read: “Mr. S. L. Clemens (Mark Twain) will preside and deliver the address of welcome to Mr. Churchill.”19
Clemens, now sixty-five, had a long affinity for England. He had first visited in 1872 and returned frequently thereafter. London’s wonders, he said on that first trip, “seem to me to be limitless. I go about as in a dream—as in a realm of enchantment…. I stand spellbound, as it were—and gaze upon the statuary in Leicester Square. I visit the mortuary effigies of noble old Henry VII, and Judge Jeffreys, and the preserved gorilla, and try to make up my mind which of my ancestors I admire the most.”20
The English loved Twain in return. At an 1872 London dinner, a list of the guests was read in silence until his name was mentioned. Then, he wrote his wife, “there was such a storm of applause as you never heard.”21 Lionized by the British elite, he loved the English countryside. “England is the most beautiful of all countries,” he wrote.22 With his distinctive recognizable visage and memorable wit, he became for many Britons the archetypal American, much as Benjamin Franklin had been for the French a century before.
Similarly, Winston Churchill would later become the archetypal Englishman for many Americans. Arriving in England for the last time in 1907, Clemens observed: “When I stand under the English flag, I am not a stranger, I am not an alien, but at home.” In Washington on Christmas Eve 1941, Churchill would declare: “I spend this anniversary and festival far from my country, far from my family, yet I cannot truthfully say that I feel far from home.”23
As a rule, Twain disdained politicians. His co-authored novel, The Gilded Age, satirized the corruption of politics and business in Washington. But again like Churchill, Twain was never a prisoner of convention, even his own. He had overseen publication of the memoirs of a politician, Ulysses S. Grant, saving the family of the dying Grant from bankruptcy. A decade later, Twain’s own finances were rescued by the astute management of his good friend Henry Rogers, the powerful vice-president of Standard Oil.
Strongly anti-imperialist, the aging writer had endeavored to keep a rein on his more controversial comments about the Spanish-American war. Shortly before the Churchill lecture, he told a friend, “my sense of duty is getting spongy.”24 Other anti-imperialists, such as Twain’s friend William Dean Howells, refused to attend the Churchill lecture, in protest against his support for Boer War. That night, Churchill warmed up at the Waldorf in a mini-debate with Twain over British imperialism. “My country, right or wrong,” Churchill exclaimed, seeking to cut short the conversation. Responded Twain: “Ah, when the poor country is fighting for its life, I agree. But this was not your case.”25 The audience assembled, Samuel Langhorne Clemens proceeded to his introduction of the young Englishman:
For years I have been a self‑appointed missionary, and have wrought zealously for my cause—the joining together of America and the motherland in bonds of friendship, esteem and affection—an alliance of the heart which should permanently and beneficently influence the political relations of the two countries. Wherever I have stood before a gathering of Americans or Englishmen, in England, India, Australia or elsewhere, I have urged my mission, and warmed it up with compliments to both countries and pointed out how nearly alike the two peoples are in character and spirit.
That could have been Churchill himself speaking, at almost any time from 1895 onward. Clemens then acknowledged their differences:
Mr. Churchill and I do not agree on the righteousness of the South African war, but that is of no consequence…. I think England sinned in getting into a war in South Africa which she could have avoided without loss of credit or dignity—just as I think we have sinned in crowding ourselves into a war in the Philippines on the same terms…. Mr. Churchill will tell you about the war in South Africa, and he is competent—he fought and wrote through it himself. And he made a record there which would be a proud one for a man twice his age. By his father he is English, by his mother he is American—to my mind the blend which makes the perfect man. We are now on the friendliest terms with England. Mainly through my missionary efforts I suppose; and I am glad. We have always been kin: kin in blood, kin in religion, kin in representative government, kin in ideals, kin in just and lofty purposes; and now we are kin in sin, the harmony is complete, the blend is perfect, like Mr. Churchill himself, whom I now have the honor to present to you.26
The New York Times observed that Mark Twain had not always been so pacifist. He had once visited a Civil War battlefield, but “never felt comfortable there. One cannot carry an umbrella when it rains, for when shells are flying they might get tangled up with the umbrella.”27 He had even joined a Confederate militia in Missouri, but only for a few days.28 In 1861 he had gone west, to join his brother Orion, secretary to the territorial governor of Nevada. He had ended a fervent admirer of Grant—thus his role in Grant’s memoirs. Again this paralleled the young Churchill, who had requested an illustrated copy of the Grant memoirs for his 13th birthday in 1887.29
As Clemens sat down, there settled a “mystified cerebration in some quarters of the room,” which was “crowded to the doors.”30 The stage now belonged to what The New York Times described as “a very fair man of the purely English type.”31 Greeted cordially, young Winston “showed nervousness at first, but soon forgot himself in his subject, and held the attention of his listeners by a clear recital of some of the most striking episodes of the struggle between Boer and Briton. A touch of humor, introduced half unconsciously, lightened up the lecture considerably.”32
That evening in New York was firmly impressed on Churchill’s memory. Years later he wrote:
Throughout my journeyings, I received the help of eminent Americans, and… I was thrilled by this famous companion of my youth. [Twain] was now very old and snow‑white, and combined with a noble air a most delightful style of conversation. Of course we argued about the war…. I think however I did not displease him; for he was good enough at my request to sign every one of thirty volumes of his works for my benefit; and in the first volume he inscribed the following maxim intended, I daresay, to convey a gentle admonition: “To do good is noble; to teach others to do good is nobler, and no trouble.”33
Churchill’s speech was followed by a dinner with the Pennsylvania Society. Cajoling his audience, Churchill spoke of similarities between Americans and Britons. Both peoples, he said, possessed “a prejudice against attacking a man except in front.” Another was their shared love of…baths! Both peoples like cold water; we want our daily plunge. I’ve not known that in any other nation, but though the sale ocean separates us, we are united by soap and fresh water.”34 The New York Times found the latter remark “very funny [but] rather outrageous and just a little disgusting…. the amiable Lieutenant ran on at great length about the superior cleanliness of Englishmen and Americans as compared with all the rest of the world, and pictured them as advancing hand in hand from land to land, introducing the bath tub where they go and so elevating reluctant nations to unwonted heights of civilization.”35
Churchill’s New York debut was auspicious, netting him £10,000, twice the amount he’d hoped to earn. Nevertheless Churchill frequently found himself in debt in future decades. Twice, he had to be bailed out by the generosity of friends—Bernard Baruch, for example, after Churchill’s portfolio was devastated in the 1929 Wall Street crash. For most of the 1930s into his early sixties, Churchill lived “from mouth to hand,” writing articles and books to keep ahead of his creditors. In 1938, he was on the brink of putting his beloved Chartwell up for sale when Austrian-British financier Sir Henry Strakosch bailed him out.36
In the 1890s, when Samuel Clemens was entering his early sixties, his own finances collapsed. His investment in the Paige automatic typesetting machine proved a financial sinkhole. His publishing company added to his financial losses. Only the assignment of his copyrights to his wife saved him from complete collapse. Once he declared bankruptcy, but pledged to repay his creditors in full. Careless in many personal affairs, Clemens like Churchill was scrupulous when it came to copyrights. He was infuriated that his early works were published in Britain without compensation. His first visits to England were made in part to forestall such shenanigans.
Like Twain, Churchill was shrewd about making money and careless about spending it.37 But when it came to compensation for speaking or writing, both managed their affairs meticulously. Twain’s publication contracts at the end of his life called for him to be paid by the word—and he scrupulously counted them. A biographer recorded Twain’s income as high as $200,000 per year. He was the highest paid writer in America, and it was widely reported that his magazine contributions could earn a dollar a word…. “His last contact with Harper & Brothers guaranteed him only a third of that, but it was still a better deal than anyone else could have expected, and he always insisted on a strict word count from his editors, even going so far as to demand that hyphenated words be counted as two.”38 Clemens campaigned energetically to preserve his copyrights. When he began his writing career, there was no barrier in England against unauthorized printing and sale of his work. “Clemens found this state of things unacceptable,” a biographer wrote. “The idea of being denied reward from his labor, while other people enriched themselves from it, outraged him, and he would pursue the battle for authors’ rights throughout the rest of his life.”39 Similarly, after World War II, Churchill carefully arranged the rights and optimum tax status for his publications before he ever began writing his war memoirs.
Marriages and families
Samuel Clemens married Olivia Langdon in 1870 when he was thirty-four. Winston Churchill married Clementine Hozier in 1908 when he was thirty-three. Both wives were valuable confidants, willing at times to speak unpleasant truths about personal and political affairs. Like Clementine Churchill, Olivia Clemens worried about family finances. But while Olivia oversaw the construction of the family residence in Hartford, Connecticut, Clementine could only lament Churchill’s insistence on pouring money into their Kentish home, Chartwell. Its purchase was the only acquisition he’d ever made without her approval, and its expansion was largely to his tastes.
Both men depended on their wives. Olivia was a rock of support, like Clementine, but more involved editorially in her husband’s work. She suffered from health problems from an early age, and died of heart failure aged only fifty-eight. Clementine, who suffered from nerves, focused her life entirely on Winston. She was a frank analyst of Winston’s strengths and faults. When he behaved badly, she didn’t hesitate to criticize. Their daughter wrote: “Winston and Clementine’s partnership was not always equable: both had high-mettled natures: Clementine did not hesitate to differ from him on political questions; they often did not agree on friends; but love and loyalty never failed.”40
It is possible of course to take the parallels too far, but there were many that shaped the lives of both these great figures. Sam and Olivia Clemens had four children; the eldest, Langdon, died before he turned two. Winston and Clementine had five children; the second youngest, Marigold, died before she turned three. Clara Clemens aspired to be a pianist and later a concert singer. She married a concert pianist after breaking off an affair with her accompanist. Sarah Churchill aspired to be an actress and married a musician-comedian, Vic Oliver, which soon ended in divorce.41
Susy, the oldest Clemens daughter, suffered from physical and emotional problems and died at twenty-four. Jean, the youngest, suffered from epilepsy, and drowned in a bathtub aged twenty-nine. The next day, Twain wrote sadly: “I lost Susy thirteen years ago. I lost her mother—her incomparable mother!—five and a half years ago; Clara has gone away to live in Europe; and now I have lost Jean. How poor I am, who was once so rich!”42 For much of their lives, the Clemens daughters alternately feared and adored their father. “His fits of irritation, with their accompanying fireworks, terrified the impressionable young girls and made them wonder how a person could be sweet one minute and a demon the next,” wrote Caroline Thomas.43
In the Churchill family, most of the fireworks revolved around the spoiled only son, Randolph, who often irritated and embarrassed his father. Clementine once wrote her husband, “one shrinks from saying anything to Randolph because one wishes to avoid a scene.”44 A brilliant journalist, Randolph sadly became an alcoholic who died aged only fifty-seven. Diana, the eldest Churchill child, suffered from emotional problems and depression, eventually committing suicide at fifty-four. Of the children of both families, only Clara Clemens (88) and Mary Churchill (91) survived to a ripe old age.
John Marshall Clemens had died of pneumonia when his son Samuel was just twelve years old. Lord Randolph Churchill died, probably of a brain tumor, in 1895 when his son Winston was twenty-one. Sam’s father left the family penniless, Randolph left a pittance. We must leave it to more practiced scholars to judge how the melancholy of both Churchill and Twain was affected by family tragedy and disappointment.
On the plus side, both Churchill and Clemens had brothers who played influential if understated roles in their lives. Orion Clemens, ten years older than Sam, was unsuccessful at most things he tried—law, politics, inventing, farming, journalism. His failures (and need for Twain’s financial support) came to plague his younger brother.45 Jack Churchill, five years younger than Winston, was quite the opposite: a successful financier but living content in his brother’s shadow. Jack was wounded in the Boer War, “his baptism of fire,” Winston wrote. “I have since wondered at the strange caprice which strikes down one man in his first skirmish and protects another time after time….Outwardly I sympathised with my brother in his misfortune, which he mourned bitterly, since it prevented him taking part in the impending battle, but secretly I confess myself well content that this young gentleman should be honourably out of harm’s way for a month.”46 Jack later served honorably in World War I. During World War II, he lived at Downing Street, ever the loyal and supporting brother. He died in 1947, beloved by his family.
In May 1897, Twain famously wrote that a “report of my death was an exaggeration.”47 Having long smoked and drank to excess, the great author became increasingly troubled by heart disease. Born with the arrival of Halley’s Comet, he predicted he would “go out with it.” Indeed he died on 21 April 1910, aged seventy-four, the day after the comet reappeared. Yet he outlived most of his friends and family.
Churchill would live another fifty-five years. Sharing the same birthday as Clemens, he too was born and died in odd conjunction. Having predicted he would share the day of passing with his father, he died on 24 January, exactly seventy years after Lord Randolph. Although Churchill wrote only one novel, his literary output would eventually exceed 15 million words. Surely, Samuel Clemens would have envied such impressive production as the basis for literary compensation, and negotiated accordingly.
Lewis E. Lehrman is the author of Churchill, Roosevelt & Company: Studies in Character and Statecraft (Stackpole, 2017) and Lincoln and Churchill: Statesmen at War (Stackpole, 2018).
1 In World War II, Churchill sometimes seen in his Chinese dragon dressing gown. Mark Twain dictated part of his autobiography from bed, in a “handsome silk dressing gown of rich Persian pattern.” Albert Bigelow Paine, Mark Twain, a Biography: The Personal and Literary Life of Samuel Langhorne Clemens, Volumes III-IV (New York: Harper, 1912), 1267.
2 Mark Twain, Autobiography of Mark Twain: The Complete and Authoritative Edition, Volume III (Berkeley, University of California Press, 2015), 102.
3 Samuel Clemens to Alfred Arthur Reader, 4 March 1882, in Victor Fischer and Michael Barry Frank, editors, Mark Twain’s Letters, Volume 4: 1870–1871 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995, 23.
4 “Good-Bye to Mark Twain: The Last Interview,” Hannibal Courier-Post, 3 June 1902, in Gary Scharnhorst, editor, Mark Twain: The Complete Interviews, (Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2006), 455.
5 Charles Neider, editor, The Complete Essays of Mark Twain (New York: Da Capo Press, 2000), 533.
6 Chris Wrigley, Winston Churchill: A Biographical Companion (Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 2001), 130.
7 Michael Patterson, Personal Accounts of the Great Leader at War, (Ann Arbor: F+W Media, 2005), 23.
8 John Colville, Footprints in Time: Memories (London: Michael Russell, 1984), 105-06.
9 Richard M. Langworth, editor, Churchill by Himself (New York: Public Affairs, 2008), 353.
10 Gerald Pawle, The War and Colonel Warden (London: Harrap, 1963), 239.
11 Resa, Willis, Mark & Livy: The Love Story of Mark Twain and the Woman Who Almost Tamed Him (New York: Scribner, 1992), 84.
12 Fred Kaplan, The Singular Mark Twain: A Biography (New York: Random House, 2010), 326.
14 Paul Fatout, editor, Mark Twain Speaking (Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 1976), 465. Langworth, Churchill by Himself, 536.
15 Clemens later observed that he “lectured and robbed and raided for thirteen months” to pay his bills. Tom Quirk, Mark Twain and Human Nature, (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 2011), 222.
17 Mark Twain, Following the Equator: A Journey Around the World, 660-61.
18 Winston S. Churchill, London to Ladysmith Via Pretoria (London: Longmans, 1900) 89-90.
20 Mark Twain, dinner speech, 22 September 1872, in Fatout, Mark Twain Speaking, 69.
21 Samuel Clemens to Olivia Clemens, 28 September 1872, in Kaplan, The Singular Mark Twain, 281.
22 Douglas Grant, Twain, (Edinburgh: Oliver & Boyd, 1962), 57.
23 Fatout, editor, Mark Twain Speaking, 562. Langworth, Churchill by Himself, 125.
24 Albert Bigelow Paine, editor, The Writings of Mark Twain, Volume 35, 702.
25 Winston S. Churchill, My Early Life (London: Thornton Butterworth, 1930, 375.
26 Fatout, Mark Twain Speaking, 367-69. Almost a month later, Churchill granted an interview in Michigan to a young law student in which he echoed Clemens’ comments about the advantages of the Anglo-American connection: “It is an enormous commercial advantage for the United States and Great Britain to speak the same language. It is a tremendous advantage in the way of trade. The same books can be read by twice as many people—a writer or an actor has two reading publics to appeal to. What fools we should be were we to allow our languages to drift apart! I should hope before I die to see an International Society between these two English speaking countries whose object it would be to keep the language together, each year to take certain expressions into the language‑like the Academie Francaise—to incorporate certain changes as are necessary to a healthy principle of growth in the language and to procure uniformity. Otherwise, we will lose our unity of language….there is danger of our drifting apart and losing our common tongue, by making it too common.” Gustavus Ohlinger, “Winston Spencer Churchill: A Midnight Interview,” Michigan Quarterly Review, February 1966. http://hdl.handle.net/2027/spo.act2080.0005.002:02.
28 Clemens recalled: “I was a soldier two weeks once in the beginning of the war, and was hunted like a rat the whole time. Familiar? My splendid Kipling himself hasn’t a more burn’t in, hard‑baked and unforgettable familiarity with that death‑on‑the pale‑horse‑with‑hell‑following—after which a raw soldier’s first fortnight in the field—and which, without any doubt, is the most tremendous fortnight and the vividest he is ever going to see.” Mark Twain, The Private History of a Campaign That Failed. http://www.classicshorts.com/stories/phctf.html.
29 Jonathan Rose, The Literary Churchill: Author, Reader, Actor (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2014), 22.
30 The New York Times, 13 December 1900, quoted in Mark Zwonitzer, The Statesman and the Storyteller: John Hay, Mark Twain, and the Rise of American Imperialism (New York: Algonquin Books, 2016), 414.
31 Robert H. Pilpel, Churchill in America, 1895‑1961: An Affectionate Portrait, (New York: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, 1976), 40.
33 Churchill, My Early Life, 376.
34 New York Tribune, 13 December 1900, quoted in Martin Gilbert, Churchill and America (New York: Free Press, 2005), 37
35 Ibid., 38.
36 David Lough, No More Champagne: Churchill and His Money (London: Picador, 2015), 262-65.
37 Churchill to his mother, 1898: “We both know what is good, and we both like to have it,” Martin Gilbert, Churchill: A Life (London: Minerva, 1992), 85.
38 Michael Shelden, Mark Twain: Main in White: The Grand Adventure of his Final Years, (New York: Random House, 2010), xxxv.
39 Ron Powers, Mark Twain: A Life (New York: Free Press, 2005), 323.
40 Mary Soames, “Winston Churchill: The Great Human Being,” in R. Crosby Kemper II, editor, Winston Churchill: Resolution, Defiance, Magnanimity, Good Will, (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1995), 197.
41 Sarah Churchill, Keep on Dancing (New York: Coward McCann, 1983), 184-85.
42 Mark Twain, Autobiography, Volume III, 312.
43 Caroline Thomas Harnsberger, Mark Twain: Family Man (New York, Citadel Press, 1960), 69.
44 Clementine Churchill to Winston Churchill, 15 August 1944, in Mary Soames, editor, Winston and Clementine: The Personal Letters of the Churchills, (New York: Doubleday, 1998), 498.
45 Powers, Mark Twain, 423-24.
46 Churchill, London to Ladysmith, 150.
47 Peter Messent, The Cambridge Introduction to Mark Twain, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007), 22.