- Also check our best rated Biography reviews
Footprints in Time Hardcover – 11 Nov 1976
|New from||Used from|
Customers who bought this item also bought
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Footprints in Time
Top customer reviews
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
"Footprints" is Colville's sort-of memoir; many of his and the PM's intimates were still alive when it was published, and Colville was punctilious about offending no one. "Footprints" provides depth into some of the incidents mentioned in "Fringes," (published later, in '85) and fills in the reader on the writer's background and family. This very conservative Tory had a Liberal mother who espoused every cause her son abhorred; lively times around the dinner table! He also dated (as far as I can tell) at least one, and possibly both, of the two Communist daughters of Churchill's Chief Whip, no doubt an agonizing experience for all involved.
One of "Footprints"' most interesting passages concerns the young Colville's visits to Germany. He made two, in the thirties, in a quest to conquer the language of Schiller and Goethe. His first, in '34, left him quite dazzled with the youthful spirit and healthy energy of the new Reich ... before you reach for the airsickness bag, let me state that when he returned, in '36 I think, the climate was far different, Jews had started disappearing, no one would talk about what was going on, and our young friend was appropriately appalled. Nevertheless, Colville makes no bones about the fact that he was a Chamberlainite, enjoyed the civilized hush of 10 Downing Street during Neville's reign, and considered "Winston" something of a bounder: a point of view soon blown away by reality. Speaking of blown away, he tells a wonderful story about sleeping in Chamberlain's bedroom one night during the Blitz; however, no spoilers here.
Colville denies that he wrote any of Churchill's speeches, but their styles almost do merge at some point ... Colville, though, was a dashing young man who lived in the gasoline-and-Chesterfields-powered mid-century, while his boss remained firmly ensconced in Edwardian times throughout their 15-yr working relationship.
Finally, Churchill told Colville in the fifties that "if [he] lived to .. the allotted threescore and ten, [he] would see Communism fall and the Soviet Union dissolve." Sad to say, John Colville died much too young in 1987, in his early seventies (perhaps the result of those Chesterfields?) Had he lived three or even two years longer, Churchill's prophecy would have come true.
This book, while not quite the "must" for Churchill fans that "Fringes of Power" is, fills many gaps in the narrative, and, like "Fringes", ushers the reader into a world that -- for good or bad -- is gone forever. Colville was a classy gent -- even if his daughter, at 5, preferred the company of Field Marshal Montgomery! That anecdote is in this book. It's all fun.