Churchill: The Life – An Au­tho­rised Pic­to­rial Bi­og­ra­phy

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(CCas­sell, 272 pages, £25) “A unique il­lus­trated bi­og­ra­phy of the Great­est Bri­ton” is what this book claims and I tend to agree that Churchill was one of this coun­try’s most im­por­tant fig­ures from the last cen­tury.

Through Max Arthur’s ex­ten­sively re­searched book, the reader is treated to a com­pre­hen­sive se­lec­tion of il­lus­tra­tions, which in­clude pho­to­graphs, per­sonal let­ters and arte­facts. The book is seg­mented into a time­line of Churchill’s life. Chap­ters are di­vided into sub­jects in­clud­ing child­hood, pub­lic school, his war ser­vice and political ca­reer in­ter­spersed with many per­sonal de­tails.

The book, as stated on the cover, “in­cludes rare and pre­vi­ously un­pub­lished im­ages from the Churchill Pa­pers, fam­ily arte­facts and the Broad­wa­ter Col­lec­tion of pho­to­graph al­bums held at the Churchill Ar­chives Cen­tre, Churchill Col­lege Cam­bridge as well as other col­lec­tions”.

One feels in­volved in the pic­to­rial bi­og­ra­phy of Churchill’s for­mi­da­ble char­ac­ter. The il­lus­tra­tions draw the reader in, and along with the sup­port­ing text, re­veal an in­sight into the for­ma­tion of this unique man, both from a pri­vate as well as a pub­lic point of view.

Arthur’s de­pic­tion of Churchill’s life is su­perb. This renowned his­to­rian has yet again pro­duced a truly re­mark­able piece of work that would proudly adorn any book­shelf.

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