When Clementine, Lady Spencer-Churchill died in 1977, aged 92, she had become a much-loved and iconic figure to the British public. In spite of being instantly recognisable as the seemingly serene, cool and detached wife of Winston Churchill, she had nonetheless shunned publicity throughout her life. In this fully updated, award-winning biography, her daughter Mary Soames throws new light on her mother, writing with affection and candour of Clementine's fifty-seven-year marriage to Winston, her strongly held political views and a life that spanned many of the major events of the twentieth century.
Clementine Churchill was the perfect wife for Winston. For the years of their marriage she supported him through the triumphs, disasters and tensions that ruled his public and private life. As a shy, passionate and highly-strung woman, Clementine's self-control was constantly tested to the utmost by the turmoil of public life and in the no less harrowing family crises and the ever-present financial anxieties.
When they married in 1908, Winston was already a Member of Parliament, and thereafter their life was played out mostly in front of the nation and the world. Winston always trusted Clementine completely and she became his valuable counsellor and companion. He invariably wanted her opinion - but did not always take her advice. She believed in him unreservedly, and in his destiny.
When first published in 1979, CLEMENTINE CHURCHILL won the Yorkshire Post Prize for Best First Work and a Wolfson Prize for History. This major revision makes full use of a wealth of new, intrinsically personal material that has come to light since then and elaborates further on many of the issues raised in the original edition.
There can surely be no more difficult task than to write a biography of one's own mother; but Mary Soames has been brilliantly successful.
A delightful book...affectionate and also frank.
Lady Soames has carried out the extremely delicate and difficult task of writing the real story of her mother. I found it particularly moving because I had a deep affection for her father and mother.
The finest biography for a decade