Chips Channon

Henry ‘Chips’ Channon: The Diaries (Volume 2)

Henry ‘Chips’ Channon: The Diaries (Volume 2)

1938-43

Summary

'A masterpiece - a time machine that transports the reader back to British politics and high society at the end of the 1930s.' Robert Harris

'An unrivalled guide to the social and political life of Britain in the first half of the 20th century.' Books of the Year, The Times

'Fascinating.' New Statesman

'
Never a dull day, never a dull sentence.'
Daily Mail
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The political career of Conservative MP Henry ‘Chips’ Channon (1897–1958) was unremarkable. His diaries are quite the opposite. Witty, gossipy and bitchy by turns, they are the unfettered observations of a man who went everywhere and knew everyone.

This second of three volumes opens in October 1938 with Channon optimistically believing that his hero Neville Chamberlain can stave off a general European conflagration. It closes with the expression of his hope that Mussolini’s fall from power in July 1943 means ‘The war must be more than half over’. In the intervening pages, he charts diplomatic to-ings and fro-ings and political manouevring, hatches a plan to keep Yugoslavia in the Allied camp, dines with English high society and foreign royalty, and passes not-always-charitable judgements on contemporaries who range from Winston Churchill and General de Gaulle to Noël Coward and Oscar Wilde’s erstwhile lover Lord Alfred Douglas.

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