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First Lady

The Life and Wars of Clementine Churchill
Narrated by: Charlotte Strevens
Length: 15 hrs and 52 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (45 ratings)
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Summary

Without Churchill's inspiring leadership, Britain could not have survived its darkest hour and repelled the Nazi menace. Without his wife, Clementine, however, he might never have become Prime Minister. By his own admission, the Second World War would have been 'impossible without her'.

Clementine was Winston's emotional rock and his most trusted confidante. Yet her ability to charm Britain's allies and her humanitarian efforts on the home front earned her deep respect. Now Sonia Purnell explores the peculiar dynamics of this fascinating union.

©2016 Sonia Purnell (P)2016 Oakhill Publishing

Critic reviews

"Engrossing.... Clementine Churchill became her husband's essential confidante and adviser, vetting his speeches, smoothing over his faux pas, dealing with his constituents.... Purnell's book is the first formal biography of a woman who has heretofore been relegated to the sidelines." ( The New York Times)
"Winston Churchill kept nothing from Clementine. 'You know,' he informed FDR, 'I tell Clemmie everything.' Purnell has delivered an astute, pacey account of a woman who hardly ever emerged from the shadows. It is a sharp analysis of what it meant to be a politician's wife...and shows how much we can learn about Winston Churchill from his wife and marriage." ( The Wall Street Journal)
"Thorough and engaging.... Purnell's extensive and insightful biography offers a much welcome portrait of Clementine Churchill, a woman whose remarkable life has long been overshadowed by her famous husband." ( Washington Post)
"Compellingly readable.... Sonia Purnell's biography of Winston's wife Clementine brings her out from behind the shadow cast by the Great Man. She became her husband's wise counselor, discreetly offering sound advice, re-writing his speeches, toning down his foolish or angry letters, preventing him from making certain terrible political mistakes.... Her wheeling and dealing was done behind a veil of gracious femininity." ( The Independent)
"Eye-opening.... A bold biography of a bold woman; at last Purnell has put Clementine Churchill at the center of her own extraordinary story, rather than in the shadow of her husband's." ( Mail on Sunday)
"Fascinating.... [Purnell's] book may leave you thinking Clementine is one of the most underrated, complex women in British history." ( The Daily Beast)

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A good read (listen)

Excellent book that gives a great insight into this wonderful and unique woman. While it does touch on Winston's life it is absolutely about Mrs C. Brilliant.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Wonderful!

I found this book both totally absorbing and hugely educational. What a woman she was!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Lovely told story of a lovely lady

Well told and researched account of the life and love of Clementine Churchill. The narrator has a lovely soothing British tone you'd imagine Clemmie may have sounded like herself. Would listen again

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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She made the man!!!

A fascinating insight into the love filled if exhaustive marriage of Mr and Mrs Churchill. Well worth a listen and never dull!!!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Highly recommended

I loved this book. I have read a lot about Winston Churchill but his wife is a shadowy figure, even at Chartwell but Here she emerges from the shadows, a remarkable figure in her own right who made a huge contribution to the British way of life

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Wonderful account of an astonishing lady that history does not give enough attention to.

Clementine Churchill was a phenomenal woman. She played a vital role during the war years and who would know how Winston Churchill's life would have panned out without her tireless support and the background work she carried out. She has rarely been given the thanks and credit she so fully deserved. She's was truly a throughly modern woman born in to a different age and would have made a wonderful politician in her own right.
Thoroughly enjoyed learning more about her, very well written book spanning an amazing period of our history. The author does not whitewash Clementine's shortcomings or failures or the issues within the Churchill family. The Churchill's live was one of service, hard work, failures, successes and heartbreak however never did they give in, not carrying on didn't seem an option. It was a humbling listen, if only there were more like them in the world today.

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excellent

This book is just amazing. It brouht me closer to the already fascinating figure of Clementine Churchill. I love how it brings a new perspective on the achievements of an iconic man and proves that greatness is a more complex phenomenon than just actions and personality of one person. It is very nicely read as well