The Young Menzies edited by Zachary Gorman IG News

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The mysterious political downfall of our Sir Robert was essential to his later success. So why is a new pro-Menzies propaganda outfit so uninterested in the most interesting thing about him?

(Image: Jenny / Private Media)
(Image: Jenny / Private Media)

The Young Menzies: Success, Failure, Resilience 1894–1942Edited by Zachary Gorman (Melbourne University Press)

Henry “Chips” Channon, a diarist, novelist, Tory MP, bon vivant, was an anti-Semite notable even for the 1930s (visiting Tel Aviv during World War II, he thought with astonishment that ” What would happen to the safety of the Jews” should the Germans go there), a bisexual who appears to have been responsible for acquiring the modern meaning of the word “homosexual”, and a friend of Sir Robert Menzies.

In volume two of a recently published, unpublished edition of her diaries, we are told that Channon, visiting her lover Peter Coates, first met Menzies in Cairo in January 1941, on his way to London through the Ming Empire. Was making slow way. Channon and Menzies dined and went grocery shopping, and eventually they shared a plane to London, a journey of several days, sharing hotel rooms along the way.

Read more about Guy Rundle’s book reviews.

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