The Life of Mrs. Winston Churchill

Book - 2015
Average Rating:
Rate this:
"Sonia Purnell has at long last given Clementine Churchill the biography she deserves. Sensitive yet clear-eyed, Clementine tells the fascinating story of a complex woman struggling to maintain her own identity while serving as the conscience and principal adviser to one of the most important figures in history." - Lynn Olson, bestselling author of Citizens of London  

Shortlisted for the 2016 Plutarch Award

A long-overdue tribute to the extraordinary woman behind Winston Churchill.

By Winston Churchill's own admission, victory in the Second World War would have been "impossible without her." Until now, however, the only existing biography of Churchill's wife, Clementine, was written by her daughter. Sonia Purnell finally gives Clementine her due with a deeply researched account that tells her life story, revealing how she was instrumental in softening FDR's initial dislike of her husband and paving the way for Britain's close relationship with America. It also provides a surprising account of her relationship with Eleanor Roosevelt and their differing approaches to the war effort.

Born into impecunious aristocracy, the young Clementine was the target of cruel snobbery. Many wondered why Winston married her, but their marriage proved to be an exceptional partnership. Beautiful and intelligent, but driven by her own insecurities, she made his career her mission. Any real consideration of Winston Churchill is incomplete without an understanding of their relationship, and Clementine is both the first real biography of this remarkable woman and a fascinating look inside their private world.
Publisher: New York, New York :, Viking,, 2015, ©2015.
ISBN: 9780525429777
Branch Call Number: 941. 08 CHU P
Characteristics: 436 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, portraits ; 24 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Nov 05, 2017

In this thoroughly researched biography, Purnell liberally sprinkles each page with quotes from diaries, interviews, memoirs and personal letters between Winston and Clementine. The result clearly shows that it is questionable whether belligerent Churchill would have had a role in history if it had not been for his wife making his career her devoted life-long project. Winston is exposed as emotionally needy in the extreme and an egomaniac; Clementine panders to that through sheer will power and self-control, but also maintains her individuality as she grows into her political role. Yet their deep love was genuine with full communication – no secrets …unlike FDR and Eleanor whose lives intertwine with theirs. An informative read in which Clementine really comes to life and likely changed the course of history.

Nov 13, 2015

I really enjoyed this book, I found it an easy and interesting read. . It not only told you the life of Clementine before Winston but what a life she lead after her marriage to him. Not an easy task. You get to experience a lot of history, particularly WWII.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at CPL

To Top