Churchill’s Jackal

Kenneth O. Morgan

  • Brendan Bracken by Charles Edward Lysaght
    Allen Lane, 372 pp, £10.00, September 1980, ISBN 0 7139 0969 2

‘It’s just that he isn’t a real person. He isn’t a human being at all.’ This verdict on Rex Mottram in Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited conveys something of the despairing bafflement of contemporaries towards the real-life right-wing politician on whom Mottram was modelled – Brendan Bracken. Even in the political fluidity of the Thirties and the Second World War, Bracken, with his self-created and well-advertised mystique as a man of mystery, taxed to the limit the Tories’ appetite for self-made adventurers, already fully tested in the past by such as Disraeli and ‘F.E.’

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