...A Graphic Biography, from Greenhill Books
Author: Delmas, Regnault, Cammardella & Kersaudy
Publisher: Greenhill Books
Something very different I think with this new book. It isn't the first biography of Winston Churchill but it is the first one I know of that is done in the style/format of a graphic novel.
It opens with a few pages of text which give the outline of the story of Churchill, from his youth through to the end of WW2. The bulk of the 112-pages then present the detail of the story of Churchill's life, from his childhood, with his father as a politician, through to the end of WW2. Thanks to his father he had an interest in politics, and an early military career in the late 1800's that took him to the Sudan and South Africa, where he also earned an extra income from writing for London newspapers. His writing was to continue to earn him a useful extra income. He goes back into politics, with various ups and downs though it was his political role which enabled him to get the Royal Navy prepared for WW1. At another point, he even served in the front lines during the Great War. More political career between the wars before getting to the section on WW2, the ups and downs of the war, his determination and position of focus for the British people and the difficulties and frustrations of relationships with the likes of Stalin and De Gaulle. The graphic images are excellent and the whole style makes this a very attractive read.
I will admit that when I first heard about this one I did wonder what I would make of it. Having now seen it I have to say simply Excellent! Yes it is unusual but I found it a really enjoyable read. It may be unusual but there are a lot of people who will read a graphic novel but who may not also be interested in history. So if we present a historical book in this format, maybe we can encourage more people to get interested in reading a historical biography. The artwork is first class, I only wish I could produce anything like this, but that will only ever remain in my own dreams. Well done to the artists, super work.
Thanks to Pen & Sword for our review copy.