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The Churchill File

Are you:

  • preparing an essay on Churchill?
  • interested in the lives of great leaders?
  • fascinated by people who excel in multiple fields?
  • studying the history of the 20th century or the two World Wars?
  • planning to visit Churchill-related places in the UK?
  • building a personal Churchill library?

If any of these is true, or something similar, then these pages are for you. We will be focusing on the life and work of Sir Winston Churchill, gradually building up a set of articles describing his many-faceted personality, and pointing to a wide range of books both by and about him.

Given the modern passion for debunking heroes his reputation has often been attacked, but his nation forty years after his death voted him as the "Greatest Briton". Of course he had his flaws, as does every other man, and like his virtues these were often magnified in their visibility and their impact.

This is not an exercise in hagiography, but neither is it a revisionist demolition project. It is an attempt to present briefly an outstanding man of great gifts and energy who to the best of his enormous abilities served both his nation and the world through a difficult and complex period of history. We then point our readers to books which will allow them to explore more deeply.

We are not attempting to replicate any of the many full-scale biographical works available. The sheer scale of Sir Martin Gilbert's massive eight-volume official biography plus its shelf of companion volumes, and his shorter "Life" (only about 1,000 pages), illustrates how much there is to go at. Rather, we introduce our readers to some big themes and refer them to writers who have dug much more deeply.

Collecting Churchill

BrunleaBooks deals primarily in secondhand books, and among these is significant number by or about Churchill. The great majority of our private Churchill collection (accumulated over almost forty years - and a part of which is shown in the photo here) is not on our for-sale shelves. I have mined it for the nuggets presented here and sprinkled photographs of some of our collection throughout the pages.

We want especially to introduce new students of Churchill to the writings available, and to possible sources from which to obtain them. We want to encourage younger readers to commence a collection, even if at first it is made of up of cheaper editions with torn dustjackets and no longer in very good condition. You can always replace them with better copies later if your interest survives the changing pressures of school and college projects and the passion for collecting continues down the years. I still have many a dilapidated copy on my shelves because twentyfive years ago or more that was what I could find (or could pay for!) at the time, and I've never since come across a better one at an affordable price. It doesn't worry me at all that the "fine" and the "fair" sit side by side on the shelves. My collection was built up to be used rather than to look pretty, but of course others collect with different priorities.

Buying Churchill Books

Obviously we would also like you to buy our books, but no one dealer (especially a small one like BrunleaBooks) can satisfy all requirements. Our objective here is to encourage Churchill studies (not just academic, but home-based, "hobbyist" if you like) far beyond what we ourselves can provide. We therefore supply links to other sources.

For books currently in print, or at least still fairly widely available from dealers in New condition, we provide links across to the New Books area of our own online store, serviced by Amazon. We also have a catalogue of our own shelf stock of mostly secondhand titles. To help you find books which are out of print and of which we do not have a copy we plan later in the year again to provide direct links to search results from an Internet-based book-dealer service,, which lists the stock of thousands of book dealers around the world. You can then buy via, and we get a percentage for the introduction.

Although we do not currently have books displayed with the Biblio links, if we don't have copy in our stock you can go to their site and search for a title. Click on the banner below and use the search form which will then be displayed or go to our Book Search facility by clicking on the button at the top of this page.


Find rare and out-of-print books at Biblio


Visiting Churchill places?


Part of Churchill collection

© 2006-2013, David J Murray (BrunleaBooks).
4 Doomgate, Appleby in Westmorland, Cumbria, CA16 6RB
Please note: We have no facilities for trading on the premises; Internet only.
At present, 2013, we are not dealing in 2nd hand books but hope to restart soon.
This site is being left online in readiness for a relaunch, hopefully, later in the year.