Churchill obsession and film "Darkest Hour"`

Joseph Coohill's picture

Hi. I've been asked to address a group about the new film Darkest Hour, coming out in late November. But I'm a 19th C person, and need to brush up on Appeasement, Battle of Britain, and Churchill During the War stuff as soon as possible. I'd be very grateful if you H-Albion folks would advise me about the dozen or so most important, and most focussed, things I should read. I am most interested in very recent scholarship. Thanks - Joe Coohill

I would recommend Daniel Todman, Britain's War: Into Battle, 1937-1941 (2016) for the coming of war and Max Hastings, Finest Years: Churchill as Warlord, 1940-1945 (2009) for the role of Churchill. A good summary of recent work on 1940 can be found in Robin Prior, When Britain Saved the West: The Story of 1940 (2015).

Douglas Bisson
Belmont University

Dear Dr Coohill,

No doubt the best plan is for you to go to the International Churchill Society website, which has a wealth of up-to-date information on the subject.
Incidentally, I went to a private view of the film in Paris last month: you will have a lot to comment upon!

With all best wishes,

Professor Antoine CAPET, FRHistS
Head of British Studies
University of Rouen
76821 Mont-Saint-Aignan

'Britain since 1914' Section Editor
Royal Historical Society Bibliography

Reviews Editor of CERCLES

Thanks Professor Capet. I was hoping that Darkest Hour wouldn't fall into the Cult of Churchill trap. But it sounds like they did.


Hi Doug. I will chase these things up right away. I thought I heard that Robin Prior's book was hagiography, but maybe I'm mis-remembering.