After a busy summer completing two books it is a relief to know that my Shirley Williams: The Biography, a number of years in the making, is now out although no reviews as yet.
At the beginning of next month I will be launching The Patriotic Duke, my biography of the 14th Duke of Hamilton at the Lennoxlove Book Festival in East Lothian. In this first ever biography of the Duke, I look at his part in Rudolf Hess’s flight to Scotland in May 1941, one of the great mysteries of the Second World War, and, contrary to the claims of many conspiracy theorists, and acquit him of any collaboration in Hess’s bid to make peace with Britain prior to the German invasion of the Soviet Union. Not surprising given his perennial loathing of Nazi demagoguery and his prominent role in the RAF as Station Master of RAF Turnhouse, Edinburgh.
After Lennoxlove I will be holding a further launch at Fettes Colege on Thursday 7 November at 7pm. In the meantime I am trying to finish a history of independent education in this country since 1979, having spent some time on the road talking to headmasters and headmistresses past and present, and visiting many schools. Many of these schools are now very well run and reaching out to the wider community, but are somewhat tainted by their rocketing fees. With many state schools rapidly improving, the independent sector cannot afford to sit on its laurels.