Malcolm Forbes

Traitors in Clubland

The Windsor Faction

By

Chatto & Windus 373pp £14.99 order from our bookshop

Counterfactual history in the novel is usually the domain of genre fiction. Len Deighton’s SS-GB (1978) presents a Britain conquered and occupied by a victorious Nazi Germany and Robert Harris’s Fatherland (1992) opens in the week before Hitler’s 75th birthday. D J Taylor’s 11th novel, The Windsor Faction, charts a similar alternative history, albeit one that revolves around Germany’s militaristic intentions in 1939. Taylor’s what-if premise is set out in the prologue: what if Wallis Simpson had died in 1936 and Edward VIII had never abdicated? The parallel world Taylor creates is charged with tension but also rich in period detail and thick with multifaceted characters, which elevates it from straight generic adventure to shrewd literary thriller.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • Whom did Picasso label a 'bristly pig'? Read Rosalind P Blakesley's review of The Collector by Natalya Semenova to… ,
    • Alexandra Gajda on Anna Beer's new biography, Patriot or Traitor: The Life and Death of Sir Walter Ralegh ,
    • Mark Lawson reviews @jonathancoe's Middle England - The Rotters' Club for our Brexit age. ,
    • 'Behind every book that is published lies ... a haunted landscape, populated by the ghosts of things written and ex… ,
    • 'We once more live in a great age of dragon invention' Here's Tom Shippey on Martin Arnold's The Dragon ,
    • RT : Man at the q&a part of the book panel: Don't say it Don't say it Don't say it Don't say it Don't say it Don't s… ,
    • Here's @epkaufm's Whiteshift, reviewed in this month's magazine by ,