control of it to collect. This is more uncommon today – more women have their own money and their own resources.
Finally, I will say that I have not felt any difference in treatment, although I’ve encountered some disbelief regarding my interest in Churchill as a collecting vehicle.
AT: I would bet that that disbelief was in some ways due to the militaristic nature of Churchill’s life and the thought that a woman would be interested in such issues.
CLS: Yes, I think that this is very true. People are surprised that women would be interested in military history. But Churchill was a military man, and a great military man, and yet much more than that as well. I will also say that I believe that Churchill was a man who was raised to respect women. He had a strong mother, and a strong wife. And that he respected them both is obvious.
AT: We’ve been talking around and about the Churchilliana show. Can we talk now specifically about what you consider the highlights of the exhibit?
CLS: Yes, why don’t we. [Gets up to lead me on a mini-tour of the exhibit. I follow. ]
One interesting highlight that tends to command a lot of attention are the political cartoons. [We walk into a hallway filled with original political cartoons lampooning Churchill.] This part of the show seems to have attracted a lot of attention. And I think that this is only fitting, as Churchill himself loved cartoons, and learned a lot from them. He had a wonderful sense of humor, even when he was the butt of the joke.
[We go into the larger “Rare Books Room,” where the rest of the exhibit resides. Mrs. Smith leads me to several glass cases, which are filled with a plethora of fine and uncommon Churchill material: early war dispatches; parts of speeches; volumes from many of the multi-volume historical and political works that Churchill prolifically created; and finally, to a case devoted especially to publications created to memorialize Churchill, including the program for Churchill’s State Funeral Service at St. Paul’s Cathedral in January 1965.]
I am impressed by the exhibit, even though I have served as the curator for one of the world’s largest Churchill collections in private hands and had also previously handled much rare and fragile Churchill material in my capacity as a descriptive cataloguer for a private rare books dealer. I see some Churchill items I have never seen before, such as impressive and presumably one of a kind war photographs and an odd book in which Churchill (and others) extrapolate on the importance of Shakespeare. (It should be telling that Churchill chose Julius Caesar as his Shakespearian subject matter.) The exhibit is marvelous, and I urge any AE Monthly