By Rachel Chanter
January 2018 – It is possible that Winston Churchill is as popular a figure today as he was at the height of his fame as the heroic leader of Britain during the Second World War.
The recent film, The Darkest Hour by director Joe Wright, charts the crucial first few weeks of Churchill’s time as Prime Minister, during which he hardened Britain’s line against Hitler’s Nazi agenda and gave some of his most famous speeches.
Gary Oldman’s portrayal of the pugnacious Prime Minister in Wright’s film, already tipped as Oscar-winning, is not the only one to grace screens in recent times, with John Lithgow, Michael Gambon and Brian Cox all appearing as the great man in dramatizations of his Prime Ministership in the past few years.
While his track-record as a politician was undeniably flawed (Churchill opposed women’s’ suffrage and held imperialistic views on race and religion, most notably demonstrated in his attitude towards India), he has come overwhelmingly to stand as a symbol of resistance against hatred and bigotry.
At a moment when examples of strong and just political leadership seem particularly poignant, perhaps the cultural myth of Churchill is more important than ever.
Churchill was a prolific writer who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1953, and his work included journalism, memoir, history and fiction.
First editions and signed copies of his books are highly sought after.
Rare editions of the works of Winston Churchill are available at Peter Harrington.