Whether the product was profound or simple, like his vast correspondence, even his first iteration was close to the mark. Grace Hamblin, a longtime secretary, recalled: “His dictation wasn't difficult because it was very, very slow and he weighed his words. As one knows he had a tremendous command of the English language, but he didn't use it loosely. He considered very carefully what he was going to say.”
Churchill knew his Shakespeare and had a near-photographic memory. Darrell Holley’s Churchill’s Literary Allusions tells us he alludes to Shakespeare more than any other English author. King John, Richard III and Hamlet are his most frequent references. Henry V also moved and inspired him. He also closely read Richard II, generally accepting Shakespeare’s portrayal of his cruelty and vindictiveness.