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The Churchills

A Family Portrait

Beautiful, rich, and powerful, the Churchills dominated world politics for generations—but like every family, they too have their secrets.

The towering figure of Winston Churchill has been the subject of many books, but this study draws on little-visited archives to shed new light on his family and upbringing. Focusing on Lord Randolph Churchill, his American wife Jennie and their sons Winston and John (Jack), it reveals the remarkable family dynamic that shaped Britain’s wartime leader, and unravels the mystery of Lord Randolph’s contentious will. 

Winston Churchill is arguably the most famous Briton, but a shroud of mystery still surrounds him and his family—Winston’s mother, Jennie had a secret affair with the Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII, and her spendthrift habits devastated their reputation. The younger brother, Jack, has been largely forgotten, but played a crucial role both in Winston’s successes, and in holding the family together during the tough times—all this in addition to the myths propagated by Winston’s political enemies that persist to this day.

From Sir Randolph’s alleged syphilis to Winston’s illegitimacy, and from Jennie’s gambling problem to Jack’s dashed ambitions, authors Celia and John Lee use never before seen archives to cut through the rumors and lies and get to the truth about the life of the former prime minister and his relationship with his family. Chock full of intrigue and scandal, The Churchills finally sets the record straight regarding one of the world’s greatest dynasties.

Write up about Churchill book published in the London Evening Standard can be found here.

Celia and John Lee, authors of 'The Churchills - A Family Portrait' with Mary, The Lady Soames LG DBE, at the Special Forces Club for the reception for her father the late Sir Winston Churchill’s birthday on Thursday 26th November 2009 (his actual birthday was 30th November).

Sir Winston Churchill’s Birthday Reception

The reception was given by the Churchill Centre.

Sir Max Hastings was the guest speaker and gave a powerful address, homing in on the great achievement of 1940-41.

Mary, the Lady Soames LG DBE, Winston’s only surving child, then aged 87 years, gave the toast.



Russian language version of The Churchills A Family Portrait

By:  Celia and John Lee
Publisher:  AST Moscow; 2014

Translator:  Tatiana Roshupkina

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