The first Duke of Marlborough (1650-1722) was a soldier of such genius that a lavish palace, Blenheim, was built to honor his triumphs. Succeeding generations of Churchills sometimes achieved distinction but also included profligates and womanizers, and were saddled with the ruinous upkeep of Blenheim. The family fortunes were revived in the nineteenth century by the huge dowries of New York society beauties Jennie Jerome (Winston's mother) and Consuelo Vanderbilt (wife to Winston's cousin).
Mary S. Lovell brilliantly recounts the triumphant political and military campaigns, the construction of great houses, the domestic tragedies, and the happy marriage of Winston to Clementine Hosier set against the disastrous unions of most of his family, which ended in venereal disease, papal annulment, clinical depression, and adultery.
The Churchills were an extraordinary family: ambitious, impecunious, impulsive, brave, and arrogant. Winston-recently voted "The Greatest Briton"-dominates them all. His failures and triumphs are revealed in the context of a poignant and sometimes tragic private life.
|Publisher:||Tantor Media, Inc.|
|Edition description:||MP3 - Unabridged CD|
|Product dimensions:||5.30(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.50(d)|
About the Author
Mary S. Lovell is a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. She is the author of eight previous biographies, including the bestselling The Sisters: The Saga of the Mitford Family and The Churchills.
Anne Flosnik is an accomplished, multi-award-winning British actress, with lead credits for stage, television, commercials, industrials, voice-overs, and audiobooks. She has garnered three AudioFile Earphones Awards, including for Little Bee by Chris Cleave, and four Audie Award nominations.
Table of Contents
Selective Family Tree xiv
1 1650-1750 'Thou art a rascal, John Churchill' 1
2 1850-74 Randolph and Jennie 15
3 1874-5 The Birth of Winston 44
4 1875-80 A Dysfunctional Family 54
5 1880-7 A Career Thrown Away 71
6 1887-95 Lilian's Millions 101
7 1892-5 Consuelo, the Dollar Princess 119
8 1895-9 The Unhappy Duchess 141
9 1896-9 Looking for Trouble 157
10 1899-1900 National Hero! 173
11 1900-4 The Young Lion 189
12 1904-7 My Darling Clementine 210
13 1907-8 Couples 232
14 1908-14 The Next Generation 254
15 1914-16 A Fall from Power 276
16 1917-21 The Armistice and After 306
17 1921-4 Black Times 324
18 1921-31 The Twenties 345
19 1932-7 Changes at Blenheim 369
20 1938-9 Towards Armageddon 396
21 1939-40 'But You Don't Know Me' 411
22 1941-4 The Long Slog 439
23 1943-5 Weathering the Storm 463
24 1945-51 The Aftermath 487
25 1952-5 A New Era 505
26 1955-63 Safe Harbour 528
27 1963-78 Crossing the Bar 554
Appendix 1 Family and Friends 571
Appendix 2 Lord Randolph Churchill and the Diagnosis of Syphilis 578
Copyright Credits 599
Author's Note 600
What People are Saying About This
"Lovell's writing style will keep [listeners] wanting more." -Library Journal
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Although I’ve read several books in which Winston Churchill was a prominent character, I’ve never read a biography of him. Not that reading biographies is painful to me, but The Churchills in Love and War has to be the least painful way to read biography. The author says right up front that some readers find the book “gossipy,” that other author have covered in depth various facets of Churchill’s life. She focused on the personal lives of several generations of the Churchill family. And it is “gossipy” in the very best way. The story starts in the Victorian era. But knowing the intimate lives of the aristocratic men and woman makes readers realize that, although sex was a taboo topic for conversation in that era, it was something that everyone – married and unmarried – spent a lot of time doing. Whew! But what about Winston Churchill? The author figures that he was an exception – that he was always faithful (at least physically) to his wife Clementine and she to him. I appreciated the author’s including a family tree to refer to … and that, when she referred to a new character, she included information about that person in a footnote. Sourcing information was included in backnotes. In other words, she made reading and making sense of all the convoluted relationships really easy. Fascinating story, a compelling read, and lots of research – who could ask more in a biography? I couldn’t put it down – and it also made me to want to start reading some of the books written by Sir Winston.
Really Good. Would recommend for anyone who enjoys the Churchills and wants to go beyond Winston.
Excellent read. This book delvs more into the personal life of Winston Churchill that it does on his political life which was very interesting.
An enjoyable read when it comes to Winston and his wife and children, but does not live up to its promise. Hardly the close look at earlier generations of the family suggested by the inclusion on the book cover of photos of Jenny and Randolph, but a rehash of old material, some of it very out of date, that has appeared in earlier, better biographies.
Billed as a biography of the Churchill family from the first Duke through Winston Churchill, this book really covers Winston Churchill's parents and himself and his family, with just cursory glances at the first Duke, his wife, Sarah, and the other Dukes of Marlborough. Written in a breezy style, the author makes her biases known (she seems especially anxious to gloss over the somewhat dubious career of Pamela Digby Churchill Haywood Harriman) which makes this book a very juicy read.At almost 600 pages, I couldn't call this a light read, but it does go quickly and keeps the reader absorbed. I finished it in a little less than a week.
Loved this book. The author tells a wonderful, multi-faceted tale that draws you in and makes you love (and hate) the people. And guess what? They're real! This book makes me want to read more non-fiction, which is not a common thing.