ISBN # 978-1786235664
“A Fine Thing Chance” by Oliver Popplewell is published by Grosvenor House Publishing
About the Book:
Once in answer to the question, “What was most likely to blow a government off course?” Harold Macmillan is said to have replied, “Events, dear boy, events.”
Two striking examples show how serious and unintended consequences can flow from seemingly unconnected events.
In 1880, Lady Ampthill, the wife of the British Ambassador in Berlin took Crown Prince Wilhelm sculling. He jumped straight into the boat and capsized it, but could not swim. Lady Ampthill saved him. He later became Kaiser Wilhelm II and took Germany into the First World War. If he had drowned, would the War have occurred?
Ruth Ellis was the last person to be hanged for murder. She had an unremarkable affair with David Blakely. It ended in 1955. She shot him dead on the public highway with five bullets from a revolver. She shot the sixth bullet after he was dead deliberately into the ground which caused a passer-by to be very slightly injured from a ricochet. She was sentenced to death. Petitions for reprieve were rejected. She was duly hanged. The Home Secretary explained “We cannot have people shooting off firearms in the street — she not only killed Blakely but injured a passer-by. I was determined that people could use the streets without fearing a bullet.” If only she had fired the sixth bullet into Blakely’s dead body, she would almost certainly have been reprieved.
Chance is indeed a fine thing.
About the Author:
Oliver Popplewell was a distinguished High Court Judge who is now retired. He is author of the two autobiographies, Benchmark: Life, Laughter and the Law and Hallmark: A Judge’s Life at Oxford. He is also the author of the recently published and well-acclaimed novels The Prime Minister and His Mistress and The Aphrodisiac of POWER.
Oliver received an MA and LLB from Cambridge University, a BA from Oxford University, an MA from LSE and BA from Buckingham University where he also holds an Honorary Doctorate in Law.
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Press/Media Contact Details:
Grosvenor House Publishing
Tel. 020 8339 6060