The extraordinary story of how Winston’s ancestor helped him become Britain’s greatest ever Prime Minister
In an original and highly unusual major new series, popular historian Dr. David Starkey tells the story of the two greatest war leaders in British history, both of whom were called Churchill. Everyone knows Winston Churchill led Britain and her Allies in their struggle against Hitler; less well known is John Churchill, Duke of Marlborough, who led Britain and her Allies against an earlier would-be dictator of Europe, the Sun King, Louis XIV of France. John Churchill was Winston’s ancestor, but he was more than that: he was his inspiration and subject. For Winston was a writer and historian before he was Prime Minister, and perhaps his greatest work is his massive, million-word biography of John Churchill, Marlborough: His Life and Times, published in four volumes between 1933 and 1938. As Starkey argues, it was the ten years he spent working on Marlborough that turned Winston from a politician into a statesman-prophet, and prepared him for the immense task of leading the nation against Nazi Germany. The book, which was serialised in The Sunday Times, changed the way Winston was seen by the public and politicians; he became respected as the only leading politician who truly knew war. Marlborough is a work of history that changed history, a book about a great war leader which helped to make an even greater leader in a bigger, bloodier war. This absorbing series sheds new light on two great Britons and encourages us to view history as a valuable guide to the future.