The Blue Beast
Using extensive new research, The Blue Beast exposes the scandalous private lives of those at the pinnacle of power during the First World War. After The Battle of the Somme – the bloodiest day in British Military history – Prime Minister Asquith sought consolation, not from his wife or lover, but from Sylvia Henley, the aristocrat with whom he had become obsessed. Theirs was an extraordinary tale of love and betrayal. Meanwhile, the wealthy American adventuress, Emilie Grigsby set out to seduce the military men and numbered General Sir John Cowans, the powerful Quartermaster-General, The Times military correspondent, and Rupert Brooke among her conquests. Winifred Bennett entranced the Commander-in-Chief, FM Sir John French and carried him through the tumultuous early days of the War. In “The Blue Beast”, Jonathan Walker provides us with an entirely new and astonishing perspective on British leaders in the Great War, exposing the realities of Edwardian London in which women of society, through their lovers, affected the course of the conflict.