Read The Churchill Secret KBO by Jonathan Smith Online


A story of great human triumph in the life of the much loved Winston Churchill on the fiftieth anniversary of his death.1953 is synonymous in the British memory with the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II on June 2, but less well known is what happened in 10 Downing Street on June 23. With Anthony Eden vying for power, the elderly Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, must mainA story of great human triumph in the life of the much loved Winston Churchill on the fiftieth anniversary of his death.1953 is synonymous in the British memory with the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II on June 2, but less well known is what happened in 10 Downing Street on June 23. With Anthony Eden vying for power, the elderly Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, must maintain the confidence of his government, the press and the public. However, after a diplomatic dinner in which he is on typically sparkling form, Churchill's Italian dining companions are rushed out of the building and his doctor called. The Prime Minister has had a stroke. Churchill is bedbound throughout the summer, and while secrecy agreements have been struck with leading newspaper barons, the potential impact of his health on public life is never far from the minds of his inner circle. With the help of a devoted young nurse and his indomitable wife, Clementine, Churchill gradually recoups his health. But will he be fit enough to represent Britain on the world stage? 'The Churchill Secret KBO' is to be made into a major ITV drama to be broadcast in the UK in autumn 2015....

Title : The Churchill Secret KBO
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780349140254
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 208 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Churchill Secret KBO Reviews

  • Susan
    2019-01-22 15:51

    On the 23rd June, 1953, Winston Churchill was entertaining guests at Downing Street when he suddenly collapsed. His hopeful successor-in-waiting, Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden, was in America, having surgery to correct a previously botched operation. At a time when Churchill was supposed to be sailing to Bermuda to meet President Eisenhower for a summit, and the Cold War over-shadowed Europe, England had no leader. This is the story of how Churchill’s inner circle – with the collusion of the government, and even some of the press – conspired to keep the news of his health scare secret. This book wonderfully re-imagines what could have happened during those months when it was touch and go whether or not Churchill would survive his stroke. We see things mainly through the eyes of Churchill’s wife, Clementine, who is desperate for him to retire, his old friend, and doctor, Charles, Lord Moran, the Prime Minister’s Private Secretary Jock Colville and a young nurse, Millie Appleyard, who arrives at Chartwell to care for her eminent patient, under strict secrecy. There are gentle power plays between Moran and Colville, secret meetings, intense secrecy and a stricken Eden waiting, in the wings, for Churchill to pass on the baton…Churchill himself is just how you imagine him to be – irascible, difficult, a showman, opinionated, vulnerable, flawed and incredibly intelligent. Always with one eye on Clementine’s possible objections, Churchill really comes alive during his time spent with Nurse Appleyard. Their discussions of books and poetry allow his personality to flourish on the page. This book is a delight and I recommend it highly. Lastly, I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, for review.

  • Manchester Military History Society (MMHS)
    2019-02-15 22:43

    Excellent fictional imagining of the crisis faced by the UK in 1953 when the two most powerful men in the UK were incapacitatedJonathan Smith has utilised the diaries of Churchill’s doctor and private secretary to produce a compelling fly on the wall fictional account of the political and personal machinations created by the simultaneous illness of Churchill and Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden in the summer of 1953. Churchill’s illness was kept secret and didn’ t reach the public domain until his doctor published his memoirs fifteen months after Churchill’s death.The book describes the conflict between Churchill’s doctor and private secretary over how the news is handled and their prickly personal relationship. Smith’s words also seem to give us a great personal insight into Churchill’s personality away from the glare of the public, particularly in his personal dealing with his wife and staff, but more intimately with the nurse who is provided to look after him. Don’t get me wrong here, I’m not suggesting an affair between Churchill and his nurse , but it’s his closeness to this fictional character and his sharing of his previous exploits and experiences with her that for me is the highlight of the book.All in all a quick, (only 224 pages), easy to read, fascinating and well constructed account of what might have gone on in the summer of 1953.In case you were wondering KBO stands for “Keep buggering on” a famous Churchillian turn of phrase and the book is being adapted into a major TV drama.

  • Gerry
    2019-02-16 22:41

    Jonathan Smith makes the point that there were three important events in 1953: the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, the ascent of Everest by Hilary and Tenzing and the recapture of the Ashes in the Fifth Test at The Oval. He goes on to say that this is not to disregard such things as the terrible floods on the east coast of England, which killed over 300 and left 30,000 homeless, and the deaths of Stalin, Kathleen Ferrier and Dylan Thomas. But what was disregarded, chiefly because of the press embargo placed upon it, was what happened at 10 Downing Street on 23 June when Prime Minister Winston Churchill suffered a stroke.Churchill was transported to his country residence at Chartwell and there the drama unfolded in the presence of his wife, Lady Clementine, Jock Colville, his secretary, Lord Moran, his secretary and, in this fictionalised account, Nurse Millie Appleyard. The other two principal characters in the drama were Anthony Eden and his American surgeon Dr Richard Cattell. Passing through are the three major newspaper magnates who are persuaded to keep the story under wraps.The highly dramatic story tells of Churchill's fight to regain his health and his decision to continue as Prime Minister once he had recovered. This is set against the illness of Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden, who finally recovered on holiday in the Greek Islands and the possibility of his being replaced as Prime Minister.Nurse Appleyard is entirely fictional but the author blends her splendidly into the story with her caring and sympathetic understanding of her patient's demeanour one of the charming threads to Churchill's recovery. And her relationship with Churchill is one which develops and in which there is mutual respect. She is from quite a different background than Churchill and at one point she does make aa point when she says, 'Never seen so many books. There are books everywhere, all over the house.' [I did wonder if she had visited my house, too!]Once he had regained consciousness Churchill's impatience, his suffering from what he called the Black Dog, his relationship with his wife and also with his doctor and to a lesser degree his secretary plus his utter determination to carry on (KBO - Keep Buggering On) are explored in great detail. And it all climaxes with his decision, much against everyone's wishes, to deliver the Prime Minister's speech at the party conference in Margate. Needless to say, it was a great success.It is an invigorating story, beautifully told, that captures a moment in history and (even though fictionalised) gives food for thought into the life and character of one of Britain's great statesmen.

  • Bettie☯
    2019-01-22 21:37

    Description:Nineteen-fifty-three is synonymous in the British memory with the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II on 2 June. But less well known is what happened in 10 Downing Street on 23 June. With Anthony Eden vying for power, the elderly Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, must maintain the confidence of his government, the press and the public. But after a diplomatic dinner in which he is on typically sparkling form, Churchill's Italian dining companions are rushed out of the building and his doctor called. The Prime Minister has had a stroke. Churchill is bedbound throughout the summer, and while secrecy agreements have been struck with leading newspaper barons, the potential impact of his health on public life is never far from the minds of his inner circle. With the help of a devoted young nurse and his indomitable wife, Clementine, Churchill gradually recoups his health. But will he be fit enough to represent Britain on the world stage?

  • Lynda
    2019-02-15 21:46

    I really enjoyed this charming story by the author of the equally enjoyable Summer in February. This novel offers the reader an intimate peep at a tiny but critical part of the life of Winston Churchill. In 1953 Churchill sustained a stroke which was covered up by the press and his private secretary. He was whisked off to recuperate in the beautiful surroundings of Chartwell where he was cared for by his personal doctor and a young nurse along with his wife Clementine. Amazingly he recuperated enough to make a rousing speech at the party conference in Margate in the autumn. Recommended.

  • Ian Brydon
    2019-02-10 14:25

    In 1951, at the age of 75 and already in poor health, Winston Churchill resumed the office of Prime Minister. His Foreign Secretary, generally acknowledged as the Great Man's successor, was Anthony Eden. Though more than twenty years younger than Churchill, Eden's health was similarly fragile as a consequence of slipshod surgery to correct a gall bladder ailment that had actually served to make the problem worse.By the summer of 1953, Eden's health had plummeted further, to the extent that the leading American surgeon, Dr Richard Cattell, considered to be the leading expert in the world, was commissioned to operate. Cattell's eminence was of such a degree that he could name his own terms for such an undertaking, and he decided that he would only conduct the operation back in his own hospital in Boston. Eden had, therefore, been despatched to America and was preparing to go under the knife.In the meantime, Churchill planned to spend a restful summer, marshalling his declining physical resources in readiness for his appearance at the Conservative party Conference at Margate in the autumn. Earlier in the year Sir Edmund hillary and Sherpa Tensing had conquered Mount Everest on the day before the Queen's coronation, and England had regained The Ashes for the first time in twenty years, leaving the nation feeling broadly positive.In view of this prevailing sense of national elation, most of the Conservative party faithful, including Eden himself, expected that Churchill would use his speech at Margate to announcement his retirement as Prime Minister, making way for Eden to take over with enough time to put his stamp on the office before the next general election. Those plans were thrown out of kilter on 23 June when, at a dinner in 10 Downing Street thrown for the Italian ambassador, Churchill suffered a stroke while concluding his speech. Fortunately the guests didn't notice the extent of his ordeal, and the inner circle were able tactfully to clear the room and convey Churchill to his bedroom. Having settled him for the night, his personal physician, Charles, Lord Moran, President of the Royal College of Physicians, was summoned to examine him the following morning.This sets the context for the rest of the novel which focuses on the various relationships between Churchill and Lady Clementine (his long suffering wife), John Colville (his Principal Private Secretary), Lord Moran, and the desperately ambitious yet physically faltering Anthony Eden. Jonathan Smith makes the various exchanges seem immensely plausible, particularly those between Churchill and Millie Appleyard, the nurse commissioned to attend to his every need (and the only wholly fictional character in the novel).Intriguing and engrossing, the story captivates the reader with a fascinating insight into the inner sanctum of Number 10, where all the major players have their own agenda. Perhaps the most amazing aspect is the insight into Churchill's relationship with the Press, as represented by Lord Beaverbrook, Viscount Camrose and Viscount Bracken who between them owned the Daily Express, Sunday Express, Daily Telegraph, Sunday Times, The Economist, The Banker, The Financial News and The London Evening Standard. Things were organised very differently in those days, long before the advent of the internet and a time when even the paparazzi had their own code of conduct!Smith also succeeds in making Churchill an empathetic character. Capable of occasionally brutish behaviour, Smith also casts him as a delicate and sensitive man, moved by the power of oetry and the gentleness of a nurse's care.

  • Sophie
    2019-02-14 14:44

    I'm quite puzzled by the good reviews I've read about this book.I bought this book without reading any, thinking it would be a great book, even if partially fiction, about Winston's Churchill's stroke, but in the end, I was quite disappointed by this book.The real problem of this book is how everything is predictable: Winston's wife is worried sick, his doctor is calm and severe, and doesn't get along with the others who are from another social class.The young nurse if, of course, a dedicated young woman, perfect, nearly a saint, who, of course, loves reading.And well, there is nothing else in this book, only discussions between some characters.The only chapters that are quite interesting are the ones about Anthony Eden who is in an hospital in the US.I hope the writer, Jonathan Smith, didn't think he would surprise the readers when Winston decides, after the stroke, to keep being the prime minister and force Eden to wait?I've seen that coming long before reading it...

  • Pammy-sue Jones
    2019-01-27 20:36

    I enjoyed this book, especially Winston's dialogue - you could hear his voice in your mind as you read the words. Very skilful writing. If you're after an action-packed, fast-paced book then The Churchill Secret is not for you. If you are in search of a well written, evoking and intelligent 'quick read' of sorts, then I would definitely recommend this book.

  • Dorothy
    2019-02-17 16:48

    I'm probably the wrong audience for this little book. Someone who's mad about Churchill would certainly find it fascinating. Me - not so much. It covers the period in 1953 when Winston Churchill had a stroke and it was kept secret from the public and parliament. By its nature, that was never going to be an exciting story - we spend most of it stuck in Churchill's bedroom as he lies unresponsive. Also, of course, the writer is limited by writing about real people: I felt that although the writer was willing to put words in their mouth, he told us about their characters rather than getting deep into their personas, so none of them came off the page for me. The one character who seemed real was the nurse, who was a complete invention!

  • Becky Kelly
    2019-02-07 19:29

    It was okay, distinctly average I'd say. Well researched and mildly enjoyable. Worth a read? I'm not sure. I learnt more about Churchill which was interesting, but I wasn't thrilled to keep picking it up. 2.5 stars.

  • Alaine
    2019-01-24 22:48

    This book interested me as I'm interested in the TV production. While I enjoyed the story, I felt it was a little slow moving and flat. It picked up at the end, but I almost gave up on it. I'll still watch the TV production.

  • Katie Fellows
    2019-01-29 20:38

    Ever so nearly 5... so close....

  • John Buckingham
    2019-01-31 19:46

    Enjoyable, quick read which to me, captures the nature & the essence of the great man.

  • Stephanie
    2019-02-20 18:34

    An OK, quick read.

  • Harolyn Legg
    2019-01-30 17:25

    Used for a PBS show, this tells the story of the time when Winston Churchill had a slight stroke in 1953 and all the measures taken to keep it a secret and his recovery.

  • Norton Stone
    2019-02-15 21:39

    A very compact little page turner based on real events that are not by any standard spectacular but do let the reader into Churchill's inner circle during a period of ill-health. The book relied heavily on diaries written by Churchill's close confidantes so there are times you believe you are reading from their manuscripts. That may be testimony to the authors skill, nonetheless it felt like the narrative thread was very much driven by a real timeline. How much of the book is a fiction as opposed to an interpretation of events is the question I had to keep asking myself. Churchill's nurse is acknowledged as a fictional character and it is through her primarily the author gives us insight into his character which is perhaps predictably, sympathetic, stoic and charming. But is it the imagining of the author or based on other more private diaries, remembering the nurse was sworn to secrecy, a quality lacking in Churchill's personal Doctor, Lord Moran, and his personal assistant Colville, who provide source material for this book.I did feel the book was a rather gentle introduction to a man with a significant back story and as a primer it works very well, because I am now keen to learn a little more about the man who was quite clearly not only a genius but one of the greatest motivators and communicators of all time.The book will not hold you up and might just turn you to revisiting some history.

  • Bobbi
    2019-02-13 19:26

    I got this book after watching the recent PBS Masterpiece Theater film "Churchill's Secret" based on the book. I thought it was well done and hoped to get a bit more depth and insight from the book, but was disappointed. In fact, the film did a better job of fleshing out the characters surrounding Churchill at the time of his stroke, including his children which were barely mentioned in the book. If you didn't catch the film, the book might be a better read.

  • Deyth Banger
    2019-02-13 16:45

    It's sadness, sadness is horrible feeling... it's full of emotions... It's a image of conflicts, troubles and problems, it's one big secret. What will happen will churchill die? When he will die? ANd how?What happens really with churchill, how fast does it happen?Many questions a lot of answers, another great work!For the Churchill lovers the best book, ever written so far...

  • Hamid Harasani
    2019-02-12 14:50

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The writing is smooth and rings true. It is based on true facts which made it all the more interesting. The author has done well in bringing his characters to life. And the ending is powerful.

  • Julie Hudson
    2019-02-11 14:24

    Glad this was a short book - not enough meat, too narrow a subject perhaps. Story based on what might have happened when Winston Churchill had a stroke in 1953 and how it was covered up.

  • Debbie
    2019-02-05 21:44

    A very quick read which despite being less than 200 pages long, could have been covered in even fewer pages.

  • Phebe
    2019-02-17 22:47

    a little like a play.