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  • Published: 15 March 2018
  • ISBN: 9781910931431
  • Imprint: Square Peg
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 336
  • RRP: $22.99

Gimson's Prime Ministers

Brief Lives from Walpole to Johnson

An illuminating account of the lives of Britain's Prime Ministers, illustrated by Martin Rowson.


A concise, sharp-witted and illuminating account of the lives of Britain's prime ministers from Walpole to May, illustrated by Martin Rowson.

For the reader who has heard of such giants as Gladstone and Disraeli, and has drunk in a pub called the Palmerston, but has only the haziest idea of who these people were, Gimson's Prime Ministers offers a short account of them all which can be read for pleasure, and not just for edification. With Gimson's wonderful prose once again complemented by Martin Rowson's inimitable illustrations, this lively and entertaining aide-memoire and work of satirical genius brings our parliamentary history to life as never before.


'The most engaging and insightful account of PMs to have been published' Arthur Seldon, Standpoint
'Learned witty and wise, and splendidly illustrated' Tibor Fischer
'Hugely enjoyable' Tom Holland

Gimson's Kings and Queens is also available.

  • Published: 15 March 2018
  • ISBN: 9781910931431
  • Imprint: Square Peg
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 336
  • RRP: $22.99

About the authors

Andrew Gimson

Andrew Gimson is the author of Boris: The Rise of Boris Johnson, published by Simon & Schuster in 2006 and described as ‘brilliant’, ‘scintillating’ and ‘an effervescent delight’. He writes for a wide range of newspapers and magazines, and is a contributing editor to ConservativeHome.com. He lives in London.

Martin Rowson

Martin Rowson is an award-winning political cartoonist whose work appears regularly in the Guardian, the Independent, the Daily Mirror, the Scotsman, Tribune, Index on Censorship and Granta. His previous publications include comic-book adaptations of The Waste Land and Tristram Shandy, as well as Gimson's Kings & Queens by Andrew Gimson. His first novel, Snatches, was published by Cape in 2006.

Praise for Gimson's Prime Ministers

Gimson's Prime Ministers is a crisp and stylish account of every one of them

Charles Moore, Spectator


Craig Brown, Daily Mail

Hugely enjoyable... has the added bonus of glorious illustrations

Tom Holland

Andrew Gimson's Prime Ministers is the best general book on British politics I've ever come across. Learned, witty and wise, and splendidly illustrated by Martin Rowson, with great snippets for dinner parties. Take Henry Pelham, prime minister from 1743 to 54: "He lived without abusing his power and died poor."

Tibor Fischer

The secret of prime ministers is that they are weak. This is a conclusion of Andrew Gimson’s wonderful portraits in his new book

John Rentoul, The Independent

Really valuable

Daniel Finkelstein, The Times Red Box Podcast

If you associate Lord Salisbury more with a pub than with politics, here is Andrew Gimson to the rescue... This spirited blend of politics and anecdote is wonderfully complemented by Martin Rowson's Georgian-style caricatures. Tony Blair's tombstone teeth embedded in Iraq are unforgettable

Zenga Longmore, Spectator

Pacy and entertaining. It is a perfect refresher of British political history, deserving of a place in the discerning reader’s downstairs loo alongside Gimson’s excellent earlier volume on Kings and Queens, which was, like this one, beautifully illustrated by the cartoonist Martin Rowson.

Theo Barclay, Daily Telegraph

A cracking read

Andrew Pierce, LBC

A gem of a book...a constant delight

Julia Langdon, The Tablet

It could hardly be done better. His pen portraits of our 54 prime ministers are lucid, pithy and perceptive... a galloping good read

Peter Lilley, Standpoint

The most engaging and insightful account of PMs to have been published

Arthur Seldon, Standpoint

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