From the time that war hero the Duke of Marlborough built Blenheim Palace in 1704, the Churchill family has occupied a visible if not always laudable role in British history.
For every legendary military man and prime minister, there are numerous family members who received the full quota of Churchill ambition and arrogance without the talent of their illustrious ancestor.
And then there is Winston, who towers over them all.
Lovell, author of The Sisters: The Saga of the Mitford Family (another colorful clan,) has written a social history (rather than a political or military one) centered around the family’s most brilliant member, Winston Churchill.
Restricted to a single volume, Lovell must necessarily rush over some tantalizing material, which gives the book a Cliff Notes feel. But if you are a fan of British history, as I am, you will enjoy the refresher as well as the new information and insights. I thought this book was excellent!
If you want more in depth information, many books have been written about the Churchills and their friends.
Below is a list of Churchill related books that I have read. There are countless others.
The Last Lion: Visions of Glory 1874-1932
The Last Lion: Alone 1932-1940
by William Manchester
The first two volumes of a trilogy. Manchester died before completing the third volume. Before his death in 2004, he appointed journalist Paul Reid to finish his work, yet to be published.
Churchill At War 1940-45
by Lord Moran
Controversial memoir by Churchill’s Doctor.
by Lynne Olson
History of Britain in the years immediately prior to WWII, with an emphasis on the parliamentary machinations leading to Churchill’s election as wartime PM.
Clementine Churchill: The Biography of a Marriage
by Mary Soames, Winston and Clementine’s daughter.
Life of the Party: The Biography of Pamela Digby Churchill Hayward Harriman
by Christopher Ogden
Pamela was Randolph Churchill’s first wife and later ambassador to France under President Clinton.
by Amanda Mackenzie Stuart
American heiress Consuelo Vanderbilt was the 9th Duke of Marlborough’s first wife.