Winston Churchill – Signed Letter, 1954 to D. Flower

Posted on Apr 12, 2015

Here’s a  letter from Winston Churchill to the bibliophile Desmond Flower (1907-1997) dated June 14, 1954 written on 10 Downing Street stationery. The letter explains Churchill’s statement: “I attach the greatest importance to books being capable of being bound and opening easily with flat pages…”

Despite contemplating a career in the antiquarian book world, Desmond Flower followed in his father’s footsteps, joining the venerable publishing firm of Cassell’s in 1930. This is how he came in contact with Winston Churchill who was authoring his 6 volume set of books – The Second World War (1948-54). 

According to Flower’s obituary in 1997, “Almost the last thing that he (Flower) did before joining the Army in 1940 was to prepare the first volume of Churchill’s wartime speeches.” After the war Flower returned to rebuild the war-torn Cassell’s, thanks in part to Churchill’s 6 volume history The Second World War (1948-54) for which Churchill won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1953.

Churchill’s copious notes taken during the war were his source for this 6 vol set –  written from his unique point of view. His access to official documents, agreed to by Prime Minister Clement Attlee, was controversial at the time and the book’s typescript was vetted prior to publication by Cabinet Secretary Norman Brook to ensure it did not reveal any official secrets, such as the government’s decryption efforts undertaken at Bletchley Park.

 

Estimated value: $3,000

 

Page 1 of letter from Churchill to Desmond Flower on10 Downing St stationary dated June 14, 1954

Page 1 of letter from Churchill to Desmond Flower on10 Downing St stationary dated June 14, 1954

 

 

page 2 of letter from Churchill to Desmond Flower on10 Downing St stationary dated June 14, 1954

Page 2 of letter from Churchill to Desmond Flower on10 Downing St stationary dated June 14, 1954

 

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