Le Vieux Lion roars again among a generation hungry for greatness





President Sarkozy may have cooled to Gordon Brown, but France has just fallen for the charms of another British leader — Sir Winston Churchill.

“Le Vieux Lion,” as the British leader was known, has found new popularity thanks to two bestselling books — a fresh translation of his Second World War memoirs and a prize-winning biography.

Enthusiasm for Churchill is being fed by new interest in the war era among a generation born since France preferred to forget the trauma of the Nazi occupation. Recent war documentaries, including a spectacular colour series on the France2 channel last autumn, have brought the period closer to modern France, said François Kersaudy, author of the new biography Winston Churchill.

“The younger generation knew very little about Churchill but they are beginning to discover him through the memoirs,” Mr Kersaudy told The Times. His book, which won the Grand Prix for political biography last year, depicts the Prime Minister as a towering figure in European history.



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