6 March 2014

The Churchills

Author: Mary S. Lovell
Year: 2012
Pages: 640
Time It Took To Read: Three days

I've got literally three books on the go, and five more in the wings. One day, I'll actually concentrate and finish them, but it is not this day.

There is something captivating (for me, at least) about society families in the Edwardian era. The changes wrought by the two world wars are fascinating. The change in lifestyle, the degradation of value, the shifts in hierarchy: all fascinating. I have read practically every decent book I can get about the Mitfords, and bought this for my mum for her birthday a couple of years ago...and then borrowed it to read myself.
The book centres on Winston and Clementine Churchill, but goes back to the Stuart era, when the first Duke of Marlborough was created. It ends with the death of Clementine in 1977, with a postscript on the fate of their descendants. There is much adultery, forced marriage, wayward children, scandal and gossip, with the statesmen of the family anchoring the narrative. 
The book touches on the politics of Churchill, but largely focuses on family life. It is slightly gossipy, with an occasional total lack of citation. I have read Mary Lovell's book on the Mitfords, and that had similar issues. However, it's a well written overview that doesn't see Winston Churchill solely as the bulldog of Parliament. 

Book count: 3/50

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