These are just a few of the classical authors Churchill read in his self-education as a young man. They form an adjunct to the more recent and direct inspirations, the figures of more recent centuries.
Churchill told the story of his ancestor in beautiful Augustan Age prose, but also discovered new sources and corrected earlier historians’ errors. Mastering foreign language documents, he produced an outstanding work of history as well as literature, one that appealed to an academic as well as to a popular audience. All this came from someone whose father had said: “He has little [claim] to cleverness, to knowledge or any capacity for settled work.”