Henry 'Chips' Channon: The Diaries (Volume 1)

Chips Channon


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21 March 2024
ISBN: 9781529159318
1024 pages

From the publisher

The Sunday Times bestselling edition of Chips Channon's remarkable diaries.

'The greatest British diarist of the 20th century. An astonishing achievement. By turns frivolous and profound.' Ben Macintyre, The Times

'Wickedly entertaining. Genuinely shocking, and still revelatory.' Andrew Marr, New Statesman

'An irresistible, saucy read . . . One of the most impressive editions of our time.' The Telegraph

'They're among the most glittering and enjoyable diaries ever written' 

Born in Chicago in 1897, 'Chips' Channon settled in England after the Great War, married into the immensely wealthy Guinness family, and served as Conservative MP for Southend-on-Sea from 1935 until his death in 1958. His career was unremarkable. His diaries are quite the opposite.

Elegant, gossipy and bitchy by turns, they are the unfettered observations of a man who went everywhere and who knew everybody. Whether describing the antics of London society in the interwar years, or the growing scandal surrounding his close friends Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson during the abdication crisis, or the mood in the House of Commons in the lead up to the Munich crisis, his sense of drama and his eye for the telling detail are unmatched. These are diaries that bring a whole epoch vividly to life.

'Fascinating and sometimes a key historical record. And the man could write.' Daily Mirror

'Fascinating stuff.' The Spectator

'Gripping reading.' The Sunday Times

'Chips perfectly embodied the qualities vital to the task: a capacious ear for gossip, a neat turn of phrase, a waspish desire to tell all, and easy access to the highest social circles across Europe.' Jesse Norman, Financial Times

'A masterpiece of storytelling and character assassination.' Guardian