Exhibit at Morgan Library in New York reportedly contains important information about Winston Churchill anecdote/quotation

Garson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Thu Aug 9 11:46:27 UTC 2012

Update: Richard M. Langworth who edited "Churchill by Himself: The
Definitive Collection of Quotations" has a blog post on the topic of
the ticket anecdote. Langworth discusses the letters that repudiate
the anecdote. He provides short excerpts.

Based on the excerpt of the Shaw letter it looks like the text is
available in "Collected Letters: 1926-1950", Volume 4, by Bernard
Shaw, editor Dan H. Laurence, Viking 1988. I will try to check this

Title: "Bring a Friend - If You Have One" - Untrue
Date: June 23, 2011
Website: richardlangworth.com


[Begin excerpt]
.. . Allen Packwood, director of the Churchill Archives Centre, has
just come across an correspondence in a remote corner of the Churchill
Papers (CHUR 2/165/66,68) in which both Shaw and Churchill deny the

“A Mr. Tatham writes to George Bernard Shaw on 15 September 1949
asking to publish the famous exchange with WSC over theatre tickets.

"Shaw replies: 'The above is not only a flat lie but a political libel
which may possibly damage me. Publish it at your peril, whether in
assertion or contradiction.'

“Tatham also writes to Churchill, whose secretary, Elizabeth Gilliatt,
replies on 16 September 1949 as follows: ‘he [Churchill] considers Mr.
Bernard Shaw is quite right in calling the incident to which you refer
'a flat lie.'"

[End excerpt]


On Wed, Aug 8, 2012 at 1:26 AM, Garson O'Toole
<adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com> wrote:
> The Morgan Library and Museum in New York currently is presenting an
> exhibition called "Churchill: The Power of Words". It runs from June 8
> through September 23, 2012. An email correspondent told me that the
> exhibit includes a letter that discusses the famous anecdote involving
> George Bernard Shaw and Winston Churchill. Here is one version of the
> celebrated dialog:
> Shaw: I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play;
> bring a friend - if you have one.
> Churchill: Cannot possibly attend first night; will attend second - if
> there is one.
> http://quoteinvestigator.com/2012/03/25/two-tickets-shaw/
> The recent visitor to the exhibit emailed me and stated that: "The
> Churchill exhibit contains correspondence indicating that this
> exchange did not occur." He also stated that: "One of the letters is
> from the late 1940's from a playwright (Coward or Shaw??). Can't
> recall."
> Has any list member seen this exhibit? Is anyone planning to see this exhibit?
> The library has been directly contacted, and I will try to follow this
> avenue to gain information. But it would be great if someone could
> visit the exhibit and take a cell-phone picture(s) of the letter(s)
> and companion description(s) (if the museum allows photographs).
> Thanks for any help you can provide,
> Garson

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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