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Summary

Bright, attractive and well-connected, in any other family the Churchill sisters - Diana, Sarah, Marigold and Mary - would have shone. But they were not in any other family; they were Churchills, and neither they nor anyone else could ever forget it.

From their father - ‘the greatest Englishman’ - to their brother, golden boy Randolph, to their eccentric and exciting cousins, the Mitford Girls, they were surrounded by a clan of larger-than-life characters which often saw them overlooked. Marigold died when she was very young, but her three sisters lived lives full of passion, drama and tragedy....

Diana, intense and diffident; Sarah, glamorous and stubborn; Mary, dependable yet determined - each so different but each imbued with a sense of responsibility towards each other and their country. Far from being cosseted debutantes, these women were eyewitnesses at some of the most important events in world history, including at the Second World War conferences of Tehran, Yalta and Potsdam. Yet The Churchill Girls is not a story set on the battlefields or in Parliament; it is an intimate saga that sheds light on the complex dynamics of family set against the backdrop of the tumultuous 20th century.

Accomplished biographer Rachel Trethewey draws on unpublished family letters from the Churchill archives to bring Winston and Clementine’s daughters out of the shadows and tell their remarkable stories for the first time.

©2021 Rachel Tretheway (P)2021 The History Press

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Privileged But Cursed?

This is not an excoriating exposé and, although Juliet Stevenson does well with what she's given, it feels more like barely disguised hagiography. There are good stories to be told about these high born, wealthy women with a lot of expectation placed on their shoulders, but this isn't it. To its credit, mental health issues are not dodged, but the tone is relentlessly sycophantic and I learned much less than I'd hoped.