Jennie: The Life of the American Beauty Who Became the Toast—and Scandal—of Two Continents, Ruled an Age and Raised a Son—Winston Churchill—Who Shaped History

Jennie: The Life of the American Beauty Who Became the Toast—and Scandal—of Two Continents, Ruled an Age and Raised a Son—Winston Churchill—Who Shaped History

Ralph G. Martin

Language: English

Pages: 643

ISBN: 2:00292997

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Jennie Churchill was not merely Winston's mother. She was the most captivating and desired woman of her age. Originally from Brooklyn, Jennie became the reigning queen of British society. Beautiful and defiant, she lived with an honesty that made her the talk of two continents.

Sir Martin Gilbert, official biographer of Winston Churchill, writes that Jennie is, "a master work" that "pulses with energy as the author leads us from her cradle to relatively early grave, at the age of sixty-seven, of a woman who finally emerges—under his guiding hand—from the shadow of being a great man's mother, to being a woman in her own right."

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At Jennie’s suggestion, he had once journeyed to Harrow to lunch with Winston and talk to him about his future. He also invited Winston to watch Parliament in action “and dine with me then to view the scramble of a House of Commons dinner.” Carson was probably one of the first men to talk with Winston about politics. Edward Carson had a reputation for extraordinary courage and determination. In a discussion about him and another great lawyer, an admirer of Carson remarked, “I should be ready to

fabric of her life to give it up. Bourke’s roots were deep in America. It was not a matter for compromise; one of them would have to surrender. That was probably the basic reason for the end of their affair: each of them was too big for surrender. Each was so remarkable a person, so strong a personality, that perhaps they found themselves competing with one another. A love affair can be intense, tempestuous, full of the fierceness and wonder of living, but marriage requires a long-range look.

Houghton Mifflin, 1967), Companion Volume II, Part 2. (Unless otherwise indicated, all letters quoted in this chapter are from this source.) 2 Interview with Sir Shane Leslie, and quoted in Anita Leslie, Lady Randolph Churchill (New York, Scribner’s, 1970). 3 August 12, 1900. 4 Lord Rosebery earlier had written to Winston advising him to take elocution lessons. In a letter of July 31, 1900, Winston said he would take the advice “though I fear I shall never learn to pronounce an ‘S’

flaming red. Leonard lavished most of his attention on the adjacent stable. Built at a cost of some $80,000, it was three stories high, thickly carpeted and paneled with black walnut. “Except for the Emperor’s Mews in Paris, it is doubtful if any stable in the world … surpassed Jerome’s,” reported The New York Tribune. Attached to it was an equally unique private theater that seated six hundred. “As you entered, you were received by liveried servants, and by them, conducted to your seat where

cropping up.42 In Savrola, Lucile’s husband plans to abdicate leadership in his government and she asks herself: “Can I do nothing, nothing? Have I played my part? Is the best of life over?” And then, with a hot wave of resolve, “I will do it—but what?” When a representative from Parliament came to collect the official robes Randolph had worn as Chancellor of the Exchequer,43 Jennie refused to surrender them, saying, “I am saving them for my son.” Thirteen HOW DARK THOSE DAYS seemed!

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