1907 Letter Shows Churchill's Relative Worried He Would Convert to Islam

But historian says it wasn't in the cards.

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Winston Churchill in 1900.
Winston Churchill in 1900.

Winston Churchill's early fascination with Islam led his sister-in-law-to-be to implore him not to convert to the religion, Britain's The Independent reported on Sunday.

In an August 1907 letter, Lady Gwendoline Bertie, who was soon to marry Churchill’s brother Jack, wrote the future prime minister, then a 32-year-old indifferent Anglican:

“Please don’t become converted to Islam; I have noticed in your disposition a tendency to orientalise, Pasha-like tendencies, I really have.

“If you come into contact with Islam your conversion might be effected with greater ease than you might have supposed, call of the blood, don’t you know what I mean, do fight against it,” she wrote.

The letter was discovered by a history research fellow at Cambridge University, Dr. Warren Dockter – who said Lady Gwendoline had nothing to be concerned about.

"Churchill never seriously considered converting," Dockter told The Independent. "He was more or less an atheist by this time anyway. He did however have a fascination with Islamic culture which was common among Victorians."

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