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by Winston Churchill

This is not the British Prime Minister, Sir Winston Spencer Churchill. This is the American novelist, Winston Churchill.

Churchill was born in St. Louis, Missouri, the son of Edward Spalding and Emma Bell (Blaine) Churchill. He attended Smith Academy in Missouri and the United States Naval Academy, where he graduated in 1894 and became an editor of the Army and Navy Journal. He resigned from the navy to pursue a writing career. While he would be most successful as a novelist, he was also a published poet and essayist.

His first novel was The Celebrity (1898). (Mr. Keegan's Elopement was published in 1896 within a magazine. In 1903 it was republished as an illustrated hardback book.) Churchill's next novel—Richard Carvel (1899)—was a phenomenon, selling as many as two million copies in a nation of only 76 million, and made Churchill rich. His next two novels, The Crisis (1901) and The Crossing (1904), were also very successful.

Churchill's early novels were historical but his later works were set in contemporary America. He often sought to include his political ideas into his novels. Churchill wrote in the naturalist style of literature, and some have called him the most influential of the American naturalists.

In 1899, Churchill moved to Cornish, New Hampshire. He became involved in politics and was elected to the state legislature in 1903 and 1905. He unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination for governor in 1906. In 1912, he was nominated as the Progressive candidate for governor but did not win the election. He did not again seek office. In 1917, he toured the battlefields of World War I and wrote about what he saw, his first non-fiction work.

Sometime after this move, he took up watercolors, and also became known for his landscapes. Some of his works are in the collections of Cornish Colony Museum in Windsor, Vermont, Hood Museum of Art (part of Hopkins Center for the Arts Dartmouth College) in Hanover, New Hampshire, and Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site in Cornish, New Hampshire.

In 1919, Churchill decided to stop writing and withdrew from public life. As a result of this he was gradually forgotten by the public. In 1940, The Uncharted Way, his first book in 20 years, was published. The book examined Churchill's thoughts on religion. He did not seek to publicize the book and it received little attention. Shortly before his death he said, "It is very difficult now for me to think of myself as a writer of novels, as all that seems to belong to another life."

Churchill died in Winter Park, Florida in 1947. He is the great-grandfather of Albany, New York, journalist Chris Churchill.

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