LITERARY LOCATION: Mount Winston, on the west side of Kechika River, south-east of Mount Skook Davidson, Cassiar Land District; Denetiah Provincial Park, part of the Muskwa-Kechika Management Area, Stikine region, northeastern B.C. 7753 ft. 58°39'27" / 127°14'34" Named in 1941.

LITERARY LOCATION: Churchill Peak, west of Racing River, south of Road Road River, north of Kwadacha Wilderness Provincial Park, southwest of Fort Nelson. 9088 ft. 58°14'34" / 125°11'57" Named in 1944, along with Mt. Roosevelt and Mt. Stalin.

If one is making a list of world renowned writers who visited British Columbia in the 20th century--such as Tagore, Mark Twain and Dylan Thomas--one would have to include Winston Churchill who received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1953. Two B.C. mountains are named in his honour.


Winston Churchill visited Vancouver with his son Randolph and his brother Jack on September 2, 1929. He opened the Annual Provincial Exhibition in New Westminster and commended a decision to proceed with the fair despite a fire on the grounds six weeks earlier. It was, he remarked, "the culmination of a courage that does not know defeat." He visited a logging company in Haney the next day. Afterwards he dined atop Grouse Mountain. Churchill visited Government House in Victoria on September 6, 1929. On September 9, 1929, he visited the site of the third Christ Church Cathedral in Victoria and laid a stone for its north tower at its current location at 930 Burdett Avenue. A plaque at the entrance of the cathedral honours the occasion.

Although chiefly famous as the First Lord of the Admiralty (1911-1915), Secretary of State of War (1918-1921), Chancellor of the Exchequer (1924-1929) and as the Prime Minister who successfully defended Great Britain against Hitler's Nazism (1940-1945) and was later re-elected (1951-1955), Winston Churchill was also a gifted writer and rhetorician. His books include The History of the Second War, A History of the English-speaking Peoples, Lord Randolph Churchill, The World Crisis and other works.

Winston Churchil began his public career as a journalist covering the so-called Spanish-American War in Cuba.

Many other mountains in B.C. owe their names to literary references.

-- Mount Van Winkle near Prince George, for instance, first appeared on an 1861 map as Mount Van Wrunkle.
-- Mount Moby Dick near Revelstoke is only one of numerous B.C. peaks named in reference to works by Herman Melville, such Mt. Ahab, Mt. Billy Budd, Claggart Peak, Vere Summit, Pequod Mountain, Omoo Peak, Typee Mountain, Benito Cereno Mountain and White Jacket Mountain.
-- Monte Cristo Mountain is near Trail, named for the novel by Alexandre Dumas, The Count of Monte Cristo.
-- Mt. Beowulf and Mt. Grendel are souteast of Revelstoke.
-- Mt. Nemo and Mt. Nautilus were named in honour of Jules Verne's Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.
-- Mt. Scarlett O'Hara near Radium Hot Springs recalls the heroine of Margaret Mitchell's Gone with the Wind.
-- Mt. Erasmus honours the Dutch scholar and author Desiderius Erasmus.
-- Mt. Winston, named in 1951, is a second peak named for Winston Churchill

Shakespearean names abound. Three peaks are named Macbeth.

-- Named in honour of Shakespeare's 400th birthday in 1965, east of Whistler, in Garibaldi Provincial Park, there is Mt. Macbeth, as well as Mt. Iago from Othello; Mt. Benvolio from Romeo & Juliet; and Angelo Peak, named for the naval officer in Othello.

-- Northwest of Cranbrook, previously named in 1960, is Mt. Macbeth, Mt. Lady Macbeth, Mt. McDuff, Mt. Banquo and Mt. Fleance.

-- Northwest of Campbell River, separated by Montague Creek with its tributary Capulet Creek, there are two adjacent mountains, Mt. Romeo and Mt. Juliet.

[BCBW 2015] "Famous Visitor"