Born in Chicago in 1897, ‘Chips’ Channon settled in England after the Great War, married into the immensely wealthy Guinness family, & served as Conservative MP for Southend-on-Sea from 1935 until his death in 1958. His career was unremarkable. His diaries are quite the opposite. Elegant, gossipy & bitchy by turns, they are the unfettered observations of a man who went everywhere & who knew everybody. Whether describing the antics of London society in the interwar years, or the growing scandal surrounding his close friends Edward VIII & Wallis Simpson during the abdication crisis, or the mood in the House of Commons the day war was declared, his sense of drama & his eye for the telling detail are unmatched. These are diaries that bring a whole epoch vividly to life.