Piers Brendon, Churchill’s Bestiary: His Life Through Animals. London, Michael O’Mara Books, 2018, 320 pages, Amazon $18.96. Excerpted from a review for the Hillsdale College Churchill Project. For the full text, click here.
“An enormously agreeable side of his character was his attitude toward animals,” Sir Anthony Montague Browne, his last private secretary, said of Winston Churchill. “Although a Victorian—and they were not notably aware of animal suffering—he had a sensitivity well in advance of his time.” Ever since Sir Anthony said that we’ve been waiting for a good book on the subject, and historian Piers Brendon has obliged.…
My friend Steve Hayward had the wit to paraphrase, in reaction to the arrival of Boris Johnson at 10 Downing Street, some comments about another incoming PM, eighty years ago next May. “Cambridge Cute,” a friend remarked of Steve’s good piece.
Speaking of Cambridge Cuties, I immediately thought of what Andrew Roberts described as “The Respectable Tendency,” the British establishment, in his great book, Eminent Churchilllians. So I dug into a dozen books to find more of what they said back then. (Lightly paraphrased.)