“Are we alone in the universe?” he asked.
Late in the 1950s, when he had been solidly in his 80s and retired, as much as was possible for a man like him, from political life, Winston Churchill brought a draft of an essay down seriously to a villa in southern France.
The place belonged to his publisher, Emery Reves, that has bought it from Coco Chanel utilizing the money he made of selling the rights that are foreign Churchill’s books on World War II. In the senior years, Churchill preferred the heat and luxury for this place, named La Pausa, to the colder, grayer atmosphere of England, and then he would stay for very long stretches of time, being treated royally by his hosts and working on his reputation for the English-Speaking Peoples.
This essay, though, covered a topic that is different the one that was less typical for the aging statesman, as a new report published in Nature reveals. Originally titled “Are We Alone in Space?” the essay explored the likelihood of extraterrestrial life.
Churchill had first started working on the essay in 1939, ahead of the beginning of World War II, plus it ran about 11 pages. At La Pausa Churchill worked on revising it, changing the title to “Are We Alone in the Universe?” The essay was never published, though; Churchill left the draft at La Pausa, and in the 1980s Wendy Reves, Emery’s wife, gave it towards the National Churchill Museum, in Fulton, Missouri.
This past year, the museum’s new director, Timothy Riley, rediscovered this essentially unknown written piece. When he handed it to Mario Livio, an astrophysicist and author, it had been “a great surprise,” Livio writes in Nature. (more…)