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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. 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 was published by Head of Zeus on 10 December 2020.

I also have a second book due for publication 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 this spring. It will be published by Penguin Allen Lane on 13 May.

Meanwhile, with the final end of lockdown still a little way off, 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 go on exciting plenty of controversy, as I wrote about for The Spectator in June 2020, How the Post Office Lost Its Way.)

These three books and two others published in earlier years are all featured on this website. Looking to the future I am now researching, as my next book, a brief history of air travel.


Duncan Campbell-Smith