Richard Toye

Richard Toye Exeter University

Richard Toye was born in Cambridge, U.K. in 1973. He studied at the universities of Birmingham and Cambridge, and is now an associate professor at the University of Exeter. He has written extensively on British and international history. In 2007 he was named Young Academic Author of the Year by Times Higher Education magazine for his book Lloyd George and Churchill: Rivals for Greatness.

Q & A

Where are you from?
Cambridge, UK

Who are your favorite writers?
Joseph Heller, Henry James, H.G. Wells

Which book/books have had the biggest influence on your writing?
I think I have probably been influenced by the authors I read most as a teenager: Robert Graves and George Orwell.

What are your hobbies and outside interests?
These are largely dictated by the interests of my two young sons, which revolve around trains, cars and tractors.

What is your favorite quotation?
"If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There's no point in being a damn fool about it."—W. C. Fields.

What is the question most commonly asked by your readers? What is the answer?
Q. Is it true that Churchill's famous wartime radio speeches were in fact delivered for him by an actor?
A. No. An actor, Norman Shelley, did later record a phonograph version of at least one Churchill speech, but the story that he stood in for Churchill on the radio is a myth.

What inspired you to write your first book?
My somewhat excessive interest in the history of British politics.

Where do you write?
At my university office.



Churchill's Empire

Richard Toye

The imperial aspect of Churchill's career tends to be airbrushed out, while the battles against Nazism are heavily foregrounded.A charmer and a bully, Winston Churchill was driven...