Temple of Diana, Blenheim Palace, Woodstock 2014
© Leslie Hossack
The years 1901 to 1908 were the foundation years of Winston Churchill’s adult life. These were extremely busy years; he worked hard and made many significant decisions in his professional, political and personal life. As he later reflected: “At Blenheim, I took two important decisions: to be born and to marry. I am happily content with the decisions I took on both occasions.” On August 11th, 1908, Winston proposed to Clementine Hozier in the Temple of Diana at Blenheim Palace, shown above.
That same month in 1908, Churchill was sworn into the Cabinet, as President of the Board of Trade. He had first taken his seat in the House of Commons in February 1901, and had launched his career as a parliamentarian with a maiden speech delivered from the seat his father had occupied when he resigned. Churchill left the Conservative Party in 1904 to join the Liberals, and he was appointed Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies in 1905. In 1906, he was elected Liberal M.P. for Manchester Northwest. He was subsequently defeated there in a 1908 by-election, but was elected M.P. for Dundee that same year.
Throughout all of these political changes and challenges, Winston was still busy writing. He published Mr. Brodrick’s Army (1903), Lord Randolph Churchill (1906), For Free Trade (1906) and My African Journey (1908). And last, but not least, he found time to fall in love with Clementine and win her hand in marriage. What characteristics of Winston eventually won her over? His “dominating charm and brilliancy” according to Churchill Trivia, The Churchill Centre.
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