What if the depressive fits that assailed Winston Churchill throughout his life, and to which he gave the lugubrious euphemism ‘the black dog’, possessed a literal, physical existence? What if the politician’s illness took the form of a ‘wild and colossal’ hound? And what if that rough beast could speak?
These are the questions that are asked by Rebecca Hunt in her outré Mr Chartwell (Fig Tree 224pp £12.99). Set in the summer of 1964, the story flits between the former PM as he prepares for retirement and the melancholy life of a young widow, Esther Hammerhans. The