Winston Churchill Is Awarded The Nobel Prize In Literature

In 1953, Churchill not only received the Nobel Prize, but also, at the time of the Queen’s coronation, was awarded knighthood in the Order of the Garter.

Competition for the Nobel Prize that year was not particularly fierce. The Swedish Pen Club, under its very active president Prince William, had had good luck with its choices in previous years, but for the moment it confined itself to backing once again the choice of its British counterpart—E. M. Forster. Included among the twenty-five remaining contenders were the American Ernest Hemingway, the Icelandic writer Halldor Laxness, and the Spaniard Juan Ramon Jimenez; all three were successively to win the Prize in the following years. At any rate, they did not offer a serious threat to Churchill’s candidacy. On October 15, the Prize was voted to him "for his mastery of historical and biographical descriptions as well as for brilliant oratory in defending exalted human values."

Churchill's literary career began with campaign reports: The Story of the Malakand Field Force (1898) and The River War (1899), an account of the campaign in the Sudan and the Battle of Omdurman. In 1900, he published his only novel, Savrola, and, six years later, his first major work, the biography of his father, Lord Randolph Churchill. His other famous biography, the life of his great ancestor, the Duke of Marlborough, was published in four volumes between 1933 and 1938. Churchill's history of the First World War appeared in four volumes under the title of The World Crisis (1923-29); his memoirs of the Second World War ran to six volumes (1948-1953/54). After his retirement from office, Churchill wrote a History of the English-speaking Peoples (4 vols., 1956-58). His magnificent oratory survives in a dozen volumes of speeches, among them The Unrelenting Struggle (1942), The Dawn of Liberation (1945), and Victory (1946).