Book Reviews: Life and Times of the Greatest Briton

The News Letter (Belfast, Northern Ireland), March 3, 2003 | Go to article overview

Book Reviews: Life and Times of the Greatest Briton


Byline: Steven Moore

Churchill by Sebastian Haffner. Published by Haus Publishing. pounds 8.99 (paperback)

HAUS Publishing is attempting, through its Life&Times series, to do for the British market what Gill did for the Irish produce a series of short, readable and authoritative books on some of the greatest names in history.

The titles produced at this stage are Dietrich, Beethoven, Prokofiev and, the one I have as an example, Churchill.

They are largely translations from the Rowoholts Monographien series, but with amendments and additions to make them more suited to the new readership.

Interestingly, two Irish titles are planned for later in the year on Oscar Wilde and Sir Roger Casement. I await those with interest.

The Churchill volume is a lovely little book, pleasant to the touch, a quality production and easy on the eye.

So much has already been written about the man, that the task of condensing his life into some 180-odd pages is an immense task.

Ireland, for example, receives only three mentions. How accurate the observations are you can judge for yourself from the following quote:

The Churchills went into splendid exile, with the result that young Winstons earliest memories were of Ireland of the fearsome Fenians, of parades and assassinations, and of a theatre that was burnt down while he was enjoying a childrens performance.

Lord Randolph became a politician in Ireland. He had previously been what would now be termed a playboy, but Ireland awakened his political instincts. …

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