In this book, with the skill of an experienced biographer, an Irish sense of humour and a measure of intuition, Anita Leslie has produced a vivid and convincing portrait of Jennie, Lady Randolph, Winston Churchill’s mother. From his father, Winston Churchill surely inherited the gift of oratory.... show more
In this book, with the skill of an experienced biographer, an Irish sense of humour and a measure of intuition, Anita Leslie has produced a vivid and convincing portrait of Jennie, Lady Randolph, Winston Churchill’s mother.
From his father, Winston Churchill surely inherited the gift of oratory. But from his mother he drew greater gifts of inestimable value to the nation he led in the dark days of 1940-1.
She gave him her ache for action, her formidable stamina, her courage and, above all, the will to stand fast in adversity and to endure whatever fate threw at her.
Jennie was an extraordinary beauty whose zest, courage, intelligence and conversational ease made her, in her own right, one of the international figures of her day.
When she married Lord Randolph Churchill, a fascinating young man who was violently in love with her, she had no idea he would become the most brilliant and controversial politician in England at the time.
But she was eminently suited to be the wife of a politician and, although her role would be `to applaud not to advise,' she brought to it her whole heart and her lively intelligence.
Yet her marriage to Randolph was a struggle which she had to learn to endure, and after his death she went on marry twice more, to men much younger than herself.
She adored Winston and went to great lengths to satisfy his whims as a young man, and she was hugely influential in shaping the great figure he would become.
Anita Leslie has used personal memories and family papers to create a fascinating look at one of the most powerful of Churchill women, mother of Winston.
‘an absorbing book as an adjunct to the biographies of husband and son.’ – The Spectator
‘Anita Leslie provides the balancing anecdotal information on Jennie as a belatedly fond mother, a competitive mother-in-law, a distant grandmother, and a patriotic aristocrat at her socially brilliant best in giddy Edwardian days’ – Kirkus Reviews
Anita Leslie (1914-85) was Winston Churchill’s first cousin, once removed. She published an array of fiction and non-fiction, and brought out a memoir, A Story Half Told, in 1983. As well as writing the biography of Churchill’s mother, she also wrote one of her cousin Randolf, Churchill’s son.
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