London, Dec. 3: Letters written by Winston Churchill to his first love fetched almost £300,000 at a Christie’s auction yesterday as collectors competed for mementoes of one of the most romantic episodes in his life.
One passionate note to Pamela Plowden became the most expensive Churchill letter ever auctioned when it was bought by an anonymous private collector for £77,675.
In it Churchill told her: “I have lived all my life seeing the most beautiful women that London produces…never have I seen one for whom I would for an hour forego the business of life.”
“Then I met you…were I a dreamer of dreams, I would say ‘marry me — and I will conquer the world and lay it at your feet’.”
Churchill wrote constantly to Pamela, the daughter of the governor of Bengal and acting viceroy of India, whom he met in 1896 when he was a young army officer.
For more than three years she was the most important person in his life and when he escaped from enemy captivity during the Boer War she sent a terse but obviously relieved telegram to him.
Although the relationship did not last they remained friendly long after their respective marriages.
The collection of more than 40 letters sold for £291,220.
One, a moving message of condolence after the death of Pamela’s second son in action during the Second World War, fetched £62,140.
Another letter that Churchill wrote from the Boer War, in which he confessed “I really am enjoying myself immensely”, sold for £26,290.