Forty-Four Days in Prague: The Runciman Mission and the race to save Europe.
Ann Shukman

Forty-Four Days in Prague: The Runciman Mission and the race to save Europe.
  • The book is a day by day narrative account of the Runciman Mission which arrived in Prague on 3 August 1938 and left on 15 September. The Mission came at the initiative of the British Government with the purpose of helping resolve the growing tension between the Czechoslovak Government and the large restless minority of Sudeten Germans living within the Republic’s boundaries,  the dispute being one of Hitler’s pretexts for a threatened armed invasion.
  • The narrative offers a vivid picture of social life in Prague (dinners, musical evenings, diplomatic gatherings) and in the large estates where the Runcimans spent their weekends at the invitation of the old Austro-Hungarian nobility (scenery, hunting practices, opinions and values)
  • A major theme of the text is the uncovering of the deception and ruses by which members of the Mission were beguiled by the leaders of the  (SdP) and their associates – Konrad Henlein, Karl Herman Frank, Max Hohenlohe.
  • The tragedy of the well-intentioned Mission was the failure of its members to recognize that the SdP was not an honest negotiator. The tragedy of Runciman was too readily to betray his vision of a united Czechoslovakia, and hand the ‘peace initiative’ over to Chamberlain, which led to the dismemberment of Czechoslovakia at the Munich Agreement.

Book Details:

  • Author: Ann Shukman
  • On Submission
  • Rights Sold
    • UK: Hurst
Ann Shukman

Ann Shukman

Ann Shukman graduated in Modern Languages from Cambridge and gained a doctorate in Russian Literary theory from Oxford. Her lifelong interests have been Russia and the Christian church. She was one of the first women ordained in the Church of England, in 1994. At various times of her life she has been Lecturer in Russian Language and Literature at Birmingham University and Keele University, and tutor for Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford. She was also Warden of the St Theosevia Centre for Christian Spirituality in Oxford. 
More about Ann Shukman

Book Reviews

  • "very pacey and engaging, breaking new ground in several ways"
    Literary Review