Charting Churchill: Hatchard’s Bookseller, Piccadilly, London

by Leslie Hossack

Hatchard's Bookseller, 187 Piccadilly, London 2014 by Leslie Hossack

Hatchard’s Bookseller, 187 Piccadilly, London 2014

© Leslie Hossack

Beginning in 1896, while serving as a cavalry officer in Bangalore, India, Winston Churchill embarked on an ambitious program of self-education. He ordered books from London on many subjects: literature, history, politics, philosophy, and even science. At the age of 22, he was defining himself as a self-directed, life-long learner. He had an inquiring mind and took a disciplined approach to his personal studies. His later skills as a writer and orator were significantly informed by his prodigious reading and legendary memory.

Throughout his life, Churchill patronized several London booksellers including E. Joseph, James Bain, and Hatchard’s seen above. The author of The Bibliography of the Works of Sir Winston Churchill (2006), Ronald I. Cohen, MBE, is the President of the Sir Winston Society of Ottawa. He very kindly shared these notes re Hatchard’s. “Churchill was a customer for many years. Hatchard’s General Manager, Arthur Humphreys, published two of Churchill’s books, Mr. Brodrick’s Army (1903) and For Free Trade (1906), two of the greatest rarities in the Churchill canon. Humphreys worked with Hatchard’s from 1881 to 1923, and was a part-owner from 1891 on. Churchill occasionally purchased books from many other booksellers, including Maggs Bros., then in the Strand (now at 50 Berkeley Square), and Sotheran’s, then also in the Strand (now at 2-5 Sackville St., in the Piccadilly area).”

The image featured above is part of the limited edition collector’s portfolio created by Leslie Hossack to mark the 50th anniversary of the death of Sir Winston Churchill. She presents locations that chart Churchill’s personal and political life, from his birth at Blenheim Palace in 1874 until his death in London in 1965. THE CHURCHILL PHOTOGRAPHS are part of Hossack’s larger body of work that explores Nazi architecture in Berlin, Stalinist structures in Moscow, contested sites in Jerusalem, a Cold War bunker in Ottawa, NATO’s Headquarter Camp in Kosovo, and buildings linked to the Japanese Canadian internment during World War II.

To view more photographs, please visit Leslie’s website.  lesliehossack.com

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