Download Churchill and the ‘Black Dog’ of Depression: Reassessing the by W. Attenborough PDF

By W. Attenborough

Churchill's 'Black puppy' is generally believed to were an inborn tendency in the direction of lengthy and despairing melancholy. during this, the 1st book-length examine of all of the on hand biographical proof, a few of which hasn't ever ahead of been released, the reality emerges as considerably much less grave than legend has it, yet extra psychologically advanced.

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Extra info for Churchill and the ‘Black Dog’ of Depression: Reassessing the Biographical Evidence of Psychological Disorder

Sample text

Further clues are to be found in the account Churchill gives in My Early Life of an episode that took place before his return to India in November 1898. Churchill was at this time very nearly 24 years old and in his final months with the British Army. Since graduating from Sandhurst in January 1895, he had made heroic progress as an autodidact in remedying the deficiencies of his education; nevertheless, it was not until the episode in question that he realised how handicapped he might be in politics by the educational deficit which remained.

An American journalist, George Smalley, encountered Churchill when a backbench MP at Dunrobin Castle, on the east coast of the Northern Highlands, overlooking the Moray Firth. Churchill was among the guests of the Duke and Duchess of Sutherland. Smalley found that Churchill had turned his bedroom into a ‘literary workshop’, complete with a large writing table courtesy of the Duchess, books and papers spread about, and a large compartmentalised tin box used for filing and storage of his work. Apparently, he never went anywhere without it.

Nevertheless, he advises Cockran not to worry about the episode on 22 April 1904. Referring to his precise and detailed ‘style of preparation’, he explains that ‘losing my thread’ was a ‘purely mechanical’ consequence of this. The last sentence of his speech, during which his memory failed him, was ‘not in the nature of argument’ but of ‘rhetoric’, and so he ‘could not bring the reasoning faculty to bear’. Moreover, he was without a ‘clue on my notes for the concluding sentence’. Consequently, sitting down was the only course left open to him.

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