Roger Hermiston


All hail to Torin Douglas (director) and Jo James (author programme director) for making the 8th Chiswick Book Festival such a resounding success. This was a vibrant occasion, with big, enthusiastic crowds for all the varied talks - the highspot being a special 'Victoria' evening on Thursday. My own event was in the Parish Hall of the beautiful St Michael and All Angels Church, where my Aurum Press colleague Sonia Purnell (biographer of Clementine Churchill) and I faced an audience of over 100 for our joint discussion - chaired expertly by Duncan Shreeve - on 'Churchill: Behind The Myth'. Both Sonia and I subscribe to a common theme - that the Great Man's giant shadow has obliterated the work and influence of others in his life: Sonia expertly outlined Clementine's greatly overlooked impact on WSC's political as well as personal life, while I brought to the audience's attention some of the characters who helped win the war on the Home Front - Lord Woolton, Brendan Bracken, Sir John Anderson - about whom they may have only had cursory knowledge. A good time was had by all!