Winston and Clementine
The Personal Letters of the Churchills
By Mary Soames
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Hardcover, 9780395963197, 736pp.)
Publication Date: March 1999
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
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Winston and Clementine Churchill wrote to each other constantly throughout the fifty-seven years of their life together, from the passionate and charming exchanges of their courtship and early marriage until the year before Winston's death in 1965. Written solely for each other's eyes, spontaneously and with great candor, their letters provide rare and revealing insights into both the great political and social events of a turbulent century and the intimate world of an extraordinary partnership. Here are Winston's and Clementine's vividly expressed reactions to the social reforms of the era, the harrowing experience in the trenches of the western front, the personalities of world leaders, the early defeats and the long-awaited victories of the Second World War. In moving detail we hear of Churchill’s dramatic career and his final, deeply felt reflections on the fading of his enormous powers. Here also are domestic minutiae, society gossip, financial anxieties and minor quarrels, private jokes, and endearments. To read these letters is to view the grand sweep of history reflected in the daily triumphs and tragedies of two allies in love, politics, and life. Mary Soames, the only surviving child of this remarkable couple, has brought her parents to life as no biography could. We hear Winston in his own voice, broken and somber, contemplating the failure of the Dardanelles campaign in 1915, the nadir of his career. And we hear Clementine, compassionate and strong, responding with words of measured advice, her love, and her belief in his historic destiny. Above all, their correspondence illuminates what Soames calls "their enduring and heroic partnership," a partnership that was not free of troubles but was built on a foundation of affection, humor, and loyalty. Bringing these letters together for the first time, Winston and Clementine is a personal and often surprising portrait of one of history's titanic figures. It is also an important and powerful document of our times.
Mary Soames, born in 1922, is the youngest and only surviving child of Wins
"WINSTON AND CLEMENTINE is a fascinating view into the public and private life of one of this century's defining figures. It is also a deeply moving love story that spanned more than a half century. Churchill's beloved "Clemmie" deserves a place in history next to his own." -- Dr. Henry Kissinger