many visitors to Madeira know that the Island was
a special retreat for Winston Churchill. Even fewer
know he wrote one of his first short stories on and
inspired by Madeira !
Like so many other British aristocrats before him
and up to this day, Madeira has always been the reviled
destination to go to. And the Reid's Palace Hotel
the accommodation of choice. Although the tourists
of distinction that had prevailed during much of the
20th century have become less apparent today the Island
is still a refuge, a place of reflection, a new point
of departure, a twist in the road, for many celebrities,
politicians, and other well known figures. We can
recall, for example, the ousted government leaders
of Cuba by Fidel Castro, Empress Sissi of Austria,
Emperor Karl I of Austria - Karl von Hapsburg (also
known as Charles IV of Hungary), or George Bernard
Shaw, and so on.
the vein of the grand visitors to Madeira we take
a retrospective look at Winston Churchill, the man,
the traveller, the writer, from the particular point
of view of his relationship to and with Madeira. We
also include, in full, a copy of the short story he
wrote with Madeira as a background, Mr.
Keegan's Elopement, for your reading pleasure.
will make all kinds of mistakes; but as long
as you are generous and true, and also fierce,
you cannot hurt the world or even seriously
distress her. She was made to be wooed and won
My Early Life - 1930)
Churchill was born in 1874 at Blenheim Palace, near
Woodstock, Oxfordshire, England, to Lord Randolph
and Lady Churchill (Jennie Jerome). During his infancy
and his school years it was noted that he was not
very academically inclined...
Even his father stated that he had a "stupid"
son (this after Churchill only succeeded entering
a military school on his third attempt). An interesting
contradiction to the opinion many people today have
of the illustrious politician, journalist, militarist,
and voyager. In 1898 Churchill had his first book
published and was to produce many more literary works,
amongst others "Mr.
Keegan`s Elopement" - his first short story inspired
by the island of Madeira.