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Six Minutes in May


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A fascinating and dramatic investigation into the events that led to Winston Churchill becoming Prime Minister against the odds

About the Author

Nicholas Shakespeare was born in 1957. The son of a diplomat, much of his youth was spent in the Far East and South America. His books have been translated into twenty-two languages. They include The Vision of Elena Silves (winner of the Somerset Maugham Award), Snowleg, The Dancer Upstairs, Inheritance, Priscilla and Six Minutes in May. He has been longlisted for the Booker Prize twice and is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.


History books should give us insight and information, surprise and entertainment, and allow us to see the world, an incident or a character differently. Nicholas Shakespeare's Six Minutes in May delivers in abundance. -- Anthony Sattin * Observer, Best Books of 2017 *
Unputdownable... Us[es] new evidence with a novelist's feeling for personality and atmosphere -- John Gray * Guardian, Best Books of 2017 *
Of the abundant new books on the Second World War, Nicholas Shakespeare's Six Minutes in May...takes the prize. The familiar story of how Churchill unexpectedly became prime minister in 1940 has never been told so amusingly, nor in such detail -- Simon Heffer * Daily Telegraph, Best History Books of 2017 *
Nicholas Shakespeare's Six Minutes in May: How Churchill Unexpectedly Became Prime Minister...is as gripping as a novel. Apart from being meticulously researched, thoroughly original and beautifully written, the book is an important reminder of the fact that the direction of history can change in a heartbeat -- Peter Frankopan * History Today, Best History Books of 2017 *
An eloquent study in how quickly the political landscape can change -- and history with it * The Economist, Books of the Year 2017 *

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