The nation remembers the 70th anniversary of VE day on 8 May. Shepheard-Walwyn have published an exciting new book which relates closely to this event. Saviour of the Nation: An epic poem of Winston Churchill’s finest hour is an engaging poem which depicts Churchill as an Epic hero in the tradition of Virgil and Homer.
The author, Brian Hodgkinson spoke live to Ali Jones on BBC Radio Oxford on 30 April to talk about what inspired him to write a poem about Winston Churchill.
Below he describes the setting for his poem:
“It is seventy years since the defeat of Nazi Germany, when Europe was finally released from the threat of domination by evil forces that would have brought an end to the rule of law, individual freedom and democratic government. Although the USA and the Soviet Union were largely responsible for defeating Germany, it was undoubtedly Britain alone that stopped the Nazis winning before those two great Powers had even entered the war. In the critical year of 1940, when France and most of continental Europe were lost to the Nazis, Britain stood defiant under the leadership of Winston Churchill. His resolute stand rallied the British people to face what seemed to be the overwhelming force of the Wehrmacht and the Luftwaffe. Whilst Hitler planned operation Sealion to invade these islands, Churchill displayed unique qualities of courage, boldness and rhetoric, both in the House of Commons and in the public arena of personal appearances and radio broadcasts.
“The book is written in blank verse to accentuate the high drama of that turning point in our history. A short extract may demonstrate Churchill’s charismatic influence at the time of the fall of France:
Beset by Cabinet boxes, telegrams
And many callers, most with dismal news,
His face exuded confidence and strength.
He puffed at his cigar, and sipped a drink,
Quite calm amidst a myriad of cares.
His very presence countenanced no fear;
His voice inspired; his speech moved men to act
With no regard for personal consequence.
“In the newly published Saviour of the Nation I have tried to bring to life this climacteric period when Churchill’s leadership was so decisive. The months of crisis that saw the threat of imminent invasion, the Battle of Britain and the consequent Blitz form the core of the book. The entry of the USA into the war with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour signals the end of the book, for then Churchill foresaw that the enormous potential of the Americans would tip the balance in the Allies’ favour.”
You might also be interested in our earlier blog post:
The Legacy of Winston Churchill by author Jeremy Havardi.