Winston Churchill, France and Europe

Wednesday 18 April 2018, 6.30pm
Venue: Institut français du Royaume-Uni, 17 Queensberry Place, London SW7 2DT
Booking essential: 020 7871 3515,
As part of The Fabric of Citizenship seminar series


A special Franco-British conversation about leading figures of our shared history, in the presence of Tristan Mendès France who will discuss his grandfather Pierre Mendès France’s special connection with Britain. Rare family archives will be displayed on this occasion.

Historians Richard Toye and Christian Destremau will then examine Winston Churchill’s relationship to France and Europe, and the different narratives that have been built since.

As part of The Fabric of Citizenship seminar series.

Please book in advance here

About the speakers

Tristan Mendès France is a French blogger, essayist, director and human rights activist. Since 2008, he has been teaching courses on new digital cultures at the École des hautes études en sciences de l’information et de la communication – CELSA. He is also a lecturer at Université Paris-Diderot and Sorbonne-Nouvelle. He has published several books, including Dr la mort (Favre, 2002) and Gueule d’ange (Favre, 2003). Formerly a columnist for several magazines and radio programmes, he has co-developed a video-blog-reportage initiative (“Blogtrotters”) and co-launched a web-documentary entitled Happy World, for which he won the “Orson Welles” prize at the California Film Awards in 2010. From 2000 to 2017, he served as Secretary General of the Institut Pierre Mendès France.

An alumnus of the universities of Birmingham and Cambridge and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, Richard Toye is Professor of Modern History at the University of Exeter. He is a specialist of the political and imperial history of Britain since the late 19th century. He has published three books on Winston Churchill, including Lloyd George and Churchill: Rivals for Greatness (Pan Macmillan, 2007), for which he received the Times Higher Education Award for Young Academic Author of the Year. In 2011, he won an AHRC (Arts and Humanities Research Council) fellowship for his work on The Rhetorical Culture of the British House of Commons, 1918 – 1940. More recently, he released Arguing About Empire: Imperial Rhetoric in Britain and France, 1882-1956 (OUP, 2017).

A former student of the Institut d’études politiques de Paris, Christian Destremau is a historian and writer specialised in the Second World War, the Middle East and intelligence matters, and a fine connoisseur of British culture. He is the co-author of Louis Massignon: Le Cheikh Admirable (written in 2005 with Jean Moncelon), which won the Grand Prix de la Biographie de l’Académie française, and the author of Ce que savaient les Alliés (Perrin, 2007), which has reaped great public success. He is also a member of the board of trustees of the American University of Afghanistan and, as a human rights activist, he has volunteered in Pakistan and Afghanistan.


You can now listen to this special evening thanks to Culturethèque.

Tristan Mendès France on his grandfather Pierre Mendès France

Richard Toye explores Winston Churchill’s relationship to France and Europe

Christian Destremau explores Winston Churchill’s relationship to France and Europe


Published on 16/07/2018

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