Chink: A biography
A Sunday Times Book of the Year.
British general and passionate Irish nationalist; revered by Auchinleck, sacked by
Churchill; Hemingway’s lifelong hero and Montgomery’s villain – Chink Dorman-
This is the acclaimed biography of the brilliant soldier who outwitted Rommel at
the First Battle of Alamein and helped turn the tide for the British army – only
to fall into disgrace and obscurity. It is the larger-
Lavinia Greacen vividly brings to life a man who defied convention, both in his private life and his public career, to become the most original military thinker of his time.
‘An unexpected and utter joy to read.’ -
‘Enthralling.’ The Mail on Sunday
‘Friend of Hemingway, dandy, lover and tactician, Chink is marvellously retrieved
‘Chink, at the heart of the international bohemian world, was a figure as incongruous
as David Niven strolling into a novel by Dostoyevsky. Hemingway had a lasting admiration
for his friend and repeatedly wove elements of him into his fictions over more than
30 years. But Chink’s real-
‘This moving story of an uncompromising outsider must be one of the most interesting
publishing coups of the year.’ -
‘Greacen’s biography deserves wide attention. It is at once shiningly honest and
unapologetically partisan; it illuminates the nature both of courage and of command.
I cannot think of any account of soldiering, by a man or a woman, which more convincingly
conveys its bloody allure.’ -
‘Was Chink a military wizard who fell foul of the conservatism of ‘Eton in Uniform’?
Or was he an egocentric whose skills as a tactician were outweighed by his idiosyncrasies?
Whatever the answer, this is an absorbing story which tells us as much about the
modern British military as it does about this ‘Chink’ in its armour.’ -
‘This complex man has been finely and carefully drawn by Lavinia Greacen. Her use
of the family papers and her wide-
‘This book, superbly researched and crafted, is a classic tragedy, the inexorable
story of a hero destroyed by his own flaws, the hubris that made him a hero. I would
not know a TAC HQ or CIGS if I met one, and yet, thanks to the ease of Lavinia Greacen’s
‘Lavinia Greacen’s readable and intelligent book states the case for Chink without
overstating it. She is aware of his faults as well as his great gifts. The picture
which emerges is a convincing one, revealing his charm and his inventive intelligence
as well as his vanity.’ -
‘A dazzling triumph, widely and justifiably acclaimed. I know of several people who
tried to get copies and were unable to do so because it had sold out. It is a superb
work, both a magnificent piece of research sustained by a beautifully crafted narrative
‘A tragic climax, and the enthralling story of a soldier whose worst enemy was himself.’
‘A graceful and sympathetic biographer who plots the details of his tendentious career
with skill and compassion.’ -
‘Fascinatingly told; one of the best biographies for years.’ -