Churchill's highest literary honour

Churchill's Nobel Prize medallion and manuscript are on display at Chartwell

In 1953, Sir Winston Churchill was awarded the coveted Nobel Prize in Literature. It was in recognition not just of his writing, but of his commanding speeches whose influence reverberated around the globe.

The Nobel Prize in Literature

It is rare for the Nobel Prize in Literature to be awarded to a serving Head of Government. Yet Sir Winston’s powerful body of work, including arresting accounts of the First and Second World Wars, fascinating memoirs and his magnificent rousing speeches, was deemed to have such historical and literary importance that the Academy made an exception.

In 1953 he was awarded the prize, ‘for his mastery of historical and biographical description as well as for brilliant oratory in defending exalted human values’. The then Prime Minister, Churchill, was deeply honoured to have been recognised for his literary work.

Lady Churchill, accompanied by daughter Mary Soames, travelled to Stockholm to receive the Prize on Churchill’s behalf in December of the same year.

The medallion and manuscript are on display in the Museum Room at Chartwell.

" I think it is a very great honour to receive from the Swedish Academy for Literature this distinction gained among all the other writers of the world. It is a literary distinction – I am particularly proud of that."
- Sir Winston Churchill