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Jennie Churchill

Jennie Churchill

After a three-day romance Brooklyn-born Jennie Jerome married into the British aristocracy, becoming Lady Randolph Churchill. At a time when women were afforded few freedoms, she was a behind-the-scenes political dynamo. However it was Jennies love life that marked her out, earning her the epithet more panther than woman. In other ways, Jennie was deeply loyal to her husband. When he was dying of syphilis she took him on a round-the-world trip to conceal his violence and mania.

Her great project became her son, Winston, with whom she was entwined in an intense mutual dependency. Jennie died suddenly in 1921 and although Winston was not to become the nation’s leader for another two decades, he had acquired from his mother an unshakeable faith in his destiny.

With unprecedented access to private family correspondence, newly discovered archival material and interviews with Jennie’s two surviving granddaughters, Anne Sebba draws a vivid and frank portrait of her subject. She repositions Jennie as a woman who refused to be cowed by her eras customary repression of women. Jennie Churchill was creative and passionate, determined to live life to the full.
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Genre: Biography & True Stories / Biography: General

On Sale: 2nd October 2008

Price: £12.99

ISBN-13: 9780719565731

Reviews

'Meticulously researched ... often moving ... Sebba demonstrates, it was as a mother that Jennie grew to excel, an excellence for which she will be remembered'
Evening Standard
'A revelatory depiction of the woman who defied convention and helped shape a nation's political future'
Good Book Guide
'A wonderful book brimming with the history and atmosphere of Edwardian England'
Margaret Fisk, New Books
Sebba's prose is clear, her judgments sensible ... But the real strength of the book is its examination of Jennie's role in shaping the character and career of Winston
Sunday Telegraph
'Richly detailed, elegantly written ... Sebba reveals a passionate outspoken woman'
Independent
Retrieving Jennie Churchill in sparkling three dimensions ... Sebba's biography does much to put flesh on the bones of a subject who has been reduced to a cipher for American brashness
Daily Telegraph
Unsurprisingly, this isn't the first biography of Winston's American mother, but it certainly does her justice, emphasising her insatiable sexuality and greed for life
Sunday Telegraph
'A well-judged, endearing biography'
Joanna Thomas-Corr, Evening Standard
'This gripping new biography is sharp and intelligent ... An immensely enjoyable book. Her prose is as smooth and elegant as expensive cashmere, it reads like a novel'
Literary Review
'Sebba shows his mother was a brilliant and energetic person in her own right ... if you want to learn about the son, then learn about the mother'
Northern Echo
'A well-judged, endearing biography'
Evening Standard