Haw-Haw: The Tragedy of William and Margaret Joyce by Nigel Farndale - review by Francis Beckett

Francis Beckett

The Traitor’s Tale

Haw-Haw: The Tragedy of William and Margaret Joyce


Macmillan 352pp £20 order from our bookshop

You wait twenty years for a new Lord Haw-Haw biography, then three come along at once. Mary Kenny kicked off last year with Germany Calling; now we have Nigel Farndale’s book; and I’m told that the mammoth work which Professor Colin Holmes has been gestating for more than a decade is at last on the verge of completion.

Until last year, the only account of the extraordinary British fascist who broadcast for Hitler from Germany throughout the Second World War, and was hanged for treason in 1946, was a 1964 book by J A Cole, the intelligence officer who interrogated Joyce’s wife Margaret.

Holmes, I suspect, will produce the definitive work, but meanwhile Kenny and Farndale have written stylish and compelling books. Kenny was good on Joyce the teenager in Ireland, where he ran with the Black and Tans and had to leave for England in a hurry, together with his family, to

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

The Art of Darkness

Cambridge, Shakespeare