Churchill 'borrowed' famous lines from books by HG Wells
Dr Richard Toye, a history lecturer at Cambridge University, has discovered that the phrase "the gathering storm" - used by Churchill to describe the rise of Nazi Germany - had been written by Wells decades earlier in The War of the Worlds, which depicts an attack on Britain by Martians. Dr Toye also identified similarities between a speech Churchill made 100 years ago and Wells's book A Modern Utopia, published in 1905.
Tellingly, just two days before Churchill delivered the speech in Glasgow on 9 October 1906, he wrote to Wells to enthuse about the book, admitting: "I owe you a great debt."
"It's a bit like Tony Blair borrowing phrases from Star Trek or Doctor Who," Dr Toye said.
Dr Toye made the discoveries while researching a book on Churchill. He identified several points at which Churchill appeared to borrow Wells's ideas.
comments powered by Disqus
Jonathan Dresner - 11/27/2006
I've always liked to mention Wells in my surveys, because he was both an historian and a speculative writer (and his speculative fiction sets the standard for a lot of 20th century literature and visual culture). Now I have another piece of evidence to use!
- Did a historian who said he’s a victim of McCarthyism get the story wrong?
- Stephanie Coontz’s work on the history of marriage cited by the Supreme Court.
- NYT History Book Reviews: Who Got Noticed this Week?
- David Hackett Fischer wins $100,000 prize for lifetime achievement in military writing