Wednesday, July 14, 2010

When Titans Meet: Sir Winston and Lady Astor

Lady Nancy Astor and Sir Winston Churchill enjoyed one of the more quotable relationships of the 20th Century.  Astor, a native of Virginia, arrived in England a divorcee.  To a woman of title in England who asked her if she had moved to the UK to take one of their husbands for her own.  Nancy replied "Evidently you have not heard of the difficulty I had in ridding myself of my last husband."   She married well, snagging Waldorf Astor, and later served in Parilment, was known for her searing observations. 

As Astor grew older, her views became more extreme and out of touch even for her own fellow Torrie's in Parliament.  It galled her that Churchill's aspirations played out, and she thus became a thorn in his side.  Theirs was a relationship of formidable equals not for the weak of heart.  In one of their encounters, and the midst of a heated discussion in the halls of Parliament, Churchill tried to excuse himself as he went into the rest room, and admonished Astor "not to be so bold as to follow (me) in an attempt to further the discussion."  Replied Astor: "Winston, you flatter yourself; but you are simply not that attractive."  

In their most often quoted encounter it was Churchill got the upper hand.

Lady Nancy Astor: "Winston, if you were my husband I would put poison in your tea."

Sir Winston Churchill: "Nancy, if I were your husband I would drink it."

Score:  Astor 0, Churchill 1


  1. Umm, Sir Winston certainly had his run ins didnt he?

    There was another famous one where a society matron told him that he was drunk. winston replied "And Madam you are ugly, however I will wake up in the morning sober and you will still be ugly"

    Churchill 2

  2. That one is coming next. Except the quote is far more biting.

  3. if i didn't know better, i'd say that winston had been a shvester. he certainly had the mouth for it.

  4. Torrie's??? Double "r" + apostrophe s?
    You mean Tories, plural of Tory, don't you?