- Also check our best rated Biography reviews
The Fringes of Power: October 1941-April 1955 v. 2: Downing Street Diaries, 1939-55 Paperback – 1 Jul 1987
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.
'Colville's diary is engaging, evocative and hard to put down.' (GOOD BOOK GUIDE ) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
About the Author
Sir John Colville was born in 1915 and educated at Harrow and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he won a Senior Scholarship and first class honours in history. He passed his Diplomatic Service exam at an unusually early age. He was a particularly close friend of and associate of Churchill, whose trustee and executor he became, and was closely involved in the creation of Churchill College, Cambridge. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Initially loyal to his first PM, Chamberlain, and sceptical about Churchill's qualities, he is soon won over by the latter's energy and vision. That warmth, friendship and loyalty is returned by Churchill and Colville comes close to being a member of his extended family, regularly staying weekends at Chequers or Chartwell and socialising with various members of the Churchill family.
It's this aspect - the detailed social record - as much as the political and military happenings which make the diaries so worthwhile. Colville is an excellent diarist, capturing moments and people of a world long gone: it gives a sense of a final flourishing of aristocratic gentlemen-amateurs (in that they did what they did because of ability and vocation rather than salary), before the greyer careerist professionals of today became all-pervasive.
The bulk of the book covers 1939-45. Colville subsequently returned to Number Ten during Churchill's 1951-5 administration but this and the intervening period are rightly relegated to a few chapters.
I've awarded four stars rather than five because despite the quality of the writing there's a big hole in the book, namely Colville's active service from October 1941 to December 1943 and again during the period around D-Day. Interesting though these periods are, it means that the record from the centre is necessarily incomplete.
Colville's diaries should be enjoyable and informative reading for anyone interested in the life of Churchill or the military and social history of WWII.
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?