Guest Post by C.J. Sansom + Giveaway of Dominion

Today I have the unique honor to welcome author C.J. Sansom to the blog today! C.J. is currently on tour for his novel Dominion and he is stopping on Passages to the Past today with a guest post and giveaway!

"Churchill – Failure and Triump"
by C.J. Sansom

It has been fascinating to feature Winston Churchill in my latest novel, Dominion.

His career has interested me all my life. It was very long; he was a major figure in British politics from 1908 until his final retirement in 1955. It was also a career that was full of contradictions and defeats; for although he was ambitious Churchill always followed his own beliefs, wherever they led.

In 1970 the historian Robert Rhodes James wrote a book, Churchill: A Study in Failure which made the point, rightly, that had Churchill died in early 1940 he would be remembered only as an eccentric failure.

Winston Churchill had risen to prominence as a radical Liberal at the start of the century, and achieved some lasting reforms, but during the First World War he was identified with the military disaster of the Gallipoli campaign against Turkey (though others shared the responsibility) and afterwards, when he rejoined the Conservative Party (where he started his career), he was known as a fanatical anti-socialist who identified the British Labour Party, quite wrongly, with the Bolsheviks, He was, by his own admission, a failure as Finance Minister in the 1920s where he cleaved to the rigid conservatism of the British Treasury, and in the 1930s became an outcast within his own party for his obdurate refusal to consider allowing India any progress towards self-government.

So why is his memory so revered? Why do I, an avowed left-winger, have a bust of him among the ornaments in my lounge? The answer is simple: 1940.

Churchill was wrong about many things, but he got one thing absolutely right – the terrible danger that Hitler and the Nazis presented to Britain, Europe and the world. Part of his concern was from a self-interested British point of view – the danger that Germany would dominate Europe; but he also genuinely, passionately loathed the fanatically nationalist, anti-Semitic, totalitarian Nazi state.

It was clear not just from Hitler's actions, but from a reading of his book Mein Kampf, that his aim was always conquest and racial domination in Europe. But British people did not want to believe this in the 1930s. After the horrors of the First World War they desperately wanted peace, and many chose to believe Hitler's assurances that his aims were limited. It was understandable, but wrong. Even when he invaded Poland and Britain and France declared war, Neville Chamberlain's war government was half-hearted.

In 1940 military failures led to Chamberlain's resignation and Churchill, the man who had been right about Hitler, became Prime Minister and joined his old foes in the Labour Party in a new coalition. Peace was an offer from the Germans, and many wanted to take it, but it would have left Germany dominant in Europe, an alternative world which I have sketched in Dominion.

But Churchill said no, and meant it. He inspired his Coalition with the will to fight on against the odds. He told his Cabinet that "he would die choking in his own blood rather than surrender." An extraordinary orator, his speeches during the year 1940 – 41, when Britain stood alone, broadcast to the nation via the radio, have to be among the most stirring and inspiring ever made. "We shall fight on the beaches…" " We shall never surrender. …" "This was their finest hour…" " If we fail then all Europe... will sink into a new dark age made more sinister, and perhaps more prolonged, by the light of a perverted science." These speeches, with their spirit of dogged resistance to tyranny, can be heard on YouTube and still send a shiver down the spine.

Without Churchill, I do not think Britain would have held out when defeat stared us in the face in 1940. There was every reason to take the easy option. The Nazi tyranny would have been enabled to spread much further, and lasted much longer.

That is why I have a bust of Churchill in my lounge.

About Dominion

DominionPublication Date: January 28, 2014
Mulholland Books
Hardcover; 640p
ISBN-10: 0316254916


1952. Twelve years have passed since Churchill lost to the appeasers and Britain surrendered to Nazi Germany. The global economy strains against the weight of the long German war against Russia still raging in the east. The British people find themselves under increasingly authoritarian rule--the press, radio, and television tightly controlled, the British Jews facing ever greater constraints.

But Churchill's Resistance soldiers on. As defiance grows, whispers circulate of a secret that could forever alter the balance of the global struggle. The keeper of that secret? Scientist Frank Muncaster, who languishes in a Birmingham mental hospital.

Civil Servant David Fitzgerald, a spy for the Resistance and University friend of Frank's, is given the mission to rescue Frank and get him out of the country. Hard on his heels is Gestapo agent Gunther Hoth, a brilliant, implacable hunter of men, who soon has Frank and David's innocent wife, Sarah, directly in his sights.

C.J. Sansom's literary thriller Winter in Madrid earned Sansom comparisons to Graham Greene, Sebastian Faulks, and Ernest Hemingway. Now, in his first alternative history epic, Sansom doesn't just recreate the past--he reinvents it. In a spellbinding tale of suspense, oppression and poignant love, DOMINION dares to explore how, in moments of crisis, history can turn on the decisions of a few brave men and women--the secrets they choose to keep and the bonds they share.

Watch the Book Trailer

Purchase the Book

Amazon (Hardcover)
Amazon (Kindle)
Barnes & Noble
Book Depository

About the Author

CJ SansomC.J. Sansom is the bestselling author of the critically-acclaimed Matthew Sharlake series, as well as the runaway international bestseller Winter in Madrid. He lives in Sussex, England.

You can find more information on C.J. Sansom and his novels at or on Facebook.

Virtual Book Tour Schedule

Monday, February 17
Spotlight & Giveaway at Flashlight Commentary

Tuesday, February 18
Interview at Flashlight Commentary

Wednesday, February 19
Guest Post & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

Thursday, February 20
Spotlight & Giveaway at Book Nerd

Friday, February 21
Review & Giveaway at Staircase Wit

Monday, February 24
Review at She Reads Novels

Tuesday, February 25
Review at Sir Read-a-Lot

Wednesday, February 26
Review at Confessions of an Avid Reader

Friday, February 28
Review & Giveaway at Just One More Chapter

Monday, March 3
Interview at Historical Boys

Tuesday, March 4
Review & Giveaway at Julz Reads

Wednesday, March 5
Review & Giveaway at Bibliophilia, Please

Thursday, March 6
Review & Giveaway at Carole's Ramblings

Friday, March 7
Review at Impressions in Ink
Review & Giveaway at Must Read Faster

Monday, March 10
Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book

Tuesday, March 11
Review at Okbo Lover
Interview at Oh, for the Hook of a Book

Wednesday, March 12
Review at Ageless Pages Reviews

Friday, March 14
Review at Diary of an Eccentric
Review & Giveaway at Historical Tapestry


Passages to the Past has one hardcover of Dominion up for grabs. To enter please complete the form below. Giveaway is open to US & Canada residents and ends on March 1st.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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  1. This looks really good! mljcwsu at yahoo dot com

  2. I haven't seen an alternative history as good as this one sounds in a long time. I'd love to win a copy.

  3. I am captivated with this enthralling novel. Thanks for this great giveaway. saubleb(at)gmail9dot)com

  4. C.J. Sansom is one of my all-time favorite historical novelists. I was so excited about Dominion, I ordered it from a UK bookseller when it came out over a year ago. WWII England is not one of my top eras/times to read about but I still enjoyed it enormously!

  5. Thanks for sharing the background, especially regarding the British Bulldog. I love a good alternate history, so this should be an interesting read for me!

  6. I've yet to read any of his novels but I've always been drawn to them. Great giveaway, thanks.


  7. C. J. Sansom is one of my two or three favorite authors. I'm excited to hear about this new book, and I can't wait to read the latest Matthew Shardlake historical mystery. I recommended "Revelation" to my local Sisters in Crime as a group read, and everyone really enjoyed it.

  8. IC.J. Sansome is one of my favorite authors creatively up there with Lady Dorothy Dunnett. I enjoyed this post and will certainly want to read Dominion.

  9. Shades of Jonathan Raab and Alan Furst! two of my favourites. This author is destined to join their ranks on my definite reads list.

  10. Sounds really interesting. Something that could have been possible.

  11. I always enjoy "what if" stories. I wonder if flawed but inspired men like Churchill could survive today's 24/7 news cycle--not to mention social media--that thrives on raising people up and then burying them when a flaw is exposed.

  12. I've never read any alternative history novels. But I'm a big fan of Winston Churchill and I would love to read this book. Thanks for the giveaway.

  13. This sounds really good! I saw it at Costco the other day and now I am kicking myself I didn't grab a copy!

  14. I have very much enjoyed Sansom's books, but in a different historical setting. ready to try this one! thanks for the giveaway

  15. It sounds like an interesting and different story line.

  16. Wow I have been hearing good things about this author for ages!

  17. I really enjoy Sansom's books! Look forward to this one too!!


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