Thursday, February 03, 2011

Unlikely Mystery Fan #2: Winston Churchill.

Part of a series on unexpected individuals who enjoy or enjoyed mystery-related works and authors.

Winston Churchill,
n.d. Library of Congress
Prints and Photographs
Perhaps not surprisingly for someone who later broke out of a Boer prison camp, the future British prime minister was fond of the works of H. Rider Haggard, reading King Solomon's Mines several times. As Carlo D'Este reports in Warlord: A Life of Winston Churchill at War 1874–1945 (10), Haggard met with Churchill in 1888, expressing apprehension about the prospect: "I hope he will not put me through a cross-examination about my unworthy productions." Apparently it was such a meeting, but Haggard sent Churchill a copy of Allan Quatermain afterward.

Another reported Churchill favorite: Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson.

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