When Winston Churchill was asked by George VI to take the reins of power in May 1940 he later recalled that ‘I felt as if I were walking with destiny, and that all my past life had been but a preparation for this hour and for this trial.’
Our relationship with the Greatest Briton is similarly framed by this same sense of an inevitable fate. It is difficult, from our perspective, to disentangle the man from the legend that has accumulated around him.
The Telegraph had a uniquely close connection with Churchill following every stage of his career, from his early days as a war correspondent for the paper, through his time in the political wilderness, the turbulent war years and his astoundingly energetic life as an elder statesman. Collected here, for the first time, is the best reportage on this most fascinating of men. Unencumbered by his mythic status, there is praise and blame in equal measure: finding space for both dramatic accounts of his wartime premiership and affectionate reports on the animals living at Chartwell, his country estate.
The Telegraph was also a happy home for Churchill the journalist, and featured within are many pieces written in his unmistakeable prose – he was as comfortable issuing stern jeremiads about the dangers of socialism, or the threat of Hitler’s Germany as he was enthusing about painting.
Restoring much of the urgency and freshness to the life of this extraordinary man, Churchill at the Telegraph is a celebration of an intimate relationship that lasted over sixty years and shows Winston Churchill in all his paradoxical glory.