“The Last Lion” author to speak at TFAC

Published 9:30am Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Tryon resident Paul Reid, co-author of the third volume of William Manchester’s biography of Winston Churchill,

Paul Reid

“The Last Lion,” will speak about the recently published book and the process of completing the work at the Tryon Fine Arts Center in Tryon at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 13.

The program will be followed by a reception for the author and book signing at  Lanier Library.

After a wait of more than 20 years, the last volume of William Manchester’s biography of Winston Churchill, “The Last Lion” is finally available. Subtitled “Defender of the Realm, 1940 –1965,” the book was begun several years before the author, William Manchester, died in 2004 but was completed by his friend Reid, who lives and works in Tryon.

The story of the two authors’ friendship and the collaboration that led to the completion of the book is a fascinating one in itself, but the outcome of that prolonged and exhaustive endeavor is an amazingly fresh and thrilling story of one of the political titans of the 20th century.

Drawing from thousands of documents written about, to and by Churchill, who himself was a prolific author, Manchester and Reid pieced together the story of a man and a world at war with great clarity and amazing details of Churchill’s family life as well his relationships with the ordinary people of war-torn London, the British Royal family and political and military leaders. But it is Reid, a journalist by profession who had never written a book before, who brought this story of unimaginable tragedy, exceptional heroism and political fortitude to it’s long-awaited conclusion.

While it completes the trilogy with very satisfyingly, “Defender of the Realm” can clearly stand alone as a gripping story of a world on the brink of a disaster that one brilliant, stubborn, hard-drinking, elderly man refused to let happen.

Lanier Library is sponsoring the program. Tickets are available in advance from the Lanier Library and The Book Shelf in Tryon, and from the Tryon Fine Arts Center immediately before the program.

– article submitted by Frances Flynn

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