Skip to main content

Duncan Campbell-Smith

Author and historian


‘The Greatest Unknown Englishman’ is a title that was proposed by a friend only half in jest for my new book, due to be released in time for Christmas. It’s a biography of a remarkable individual who certainly deserves to be a household name in Britain (but assuredly isn’t), and whose feats as an aero-engineer helped to change the world. JET MAN: The Making and Breaking of Frank Whittle, Genius of the Jet Revolution is scheduled for publication by Head of Zeus on 10 December 2020.

Plans for a Reception at the RAF Club to celebrate JET MAN’s publication have been cancelled due to the pandemic. But I have been invited to talk about the book at the Rossiter Books virtual festival on the evening of Wednesday 9 December. For tickets and more information, go to Rossiter Books, Forthcoming Events.

As it happens, I also have a second book due for release shortly. Crossing Continents, A History of the Standard Chartered Bank was finished in 2016. Its appearance had to be shelved that year, but the book has now been readied for release next spring. It will be published by Penguin Allen Lane in May 2021.

Meanwhile, for those self-isolating or caught in local lockdowns, this is obviously the time to catch up on bulky volumes you meant to read in the past but didn’t. So find a copy of my history of Britain’s Royal Mail, Masters of the Post, which was published by Penguin Allen Lane in November 2011 and came out in paperback in 2012. (Events at the Post Office have been exciting plenty of controversy this year, which I wrote about in June for The Spectator, How the Post Office Lost Its Way.)

Since becoming a full-time author in 2006, I’ve written four books — all featured on this website, along with some work completed earlier in my career.


Duncan Campbell-Smith