As complex in their own way as their Mitford cousins, Winston and Clementine Churchill’s daughters each had a unique relationship with their famous father. Rachel Trethewey's biography, The Churchill Sisters, tells their story.
Bright, attractive and well-connected, in any other family the Churchill girls – Diana, Sarah, Marigold and Mary – would have shone. But they were not in another 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. While Marigold died too young to achieve her potential, the other daughters 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 toward each other and their country. Far from being cosseted debutantes, these women were eyewitnesses at some of the most important events in world history, at Tehran, Yalta and Potsdam. Yet this 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 a tumultuous century.
Drawing on previously unpublished family letters from the Churchill archives, The Churchill Sisters brings Winston’s daughters out of the shadows and tells their remarkable stories for the first time.
About the Author
RACHEL TRETHEWEY has a degree in History from Oxford University, and a PhD in English from Exeter University. At Oxford, she won the Philip Geddes Prize for student journalism. During her subsequent journalist career she wrote features for the Daily Mail and Daily Express and reviewed historical books and biographies for the Independent. The Churchill Sisters is her fourth book.
"Enjoyable and informative...[Diana, Sarah, and Mary] deserve to have their full stories told as well. Trethewey gives them, and us, this long-overdue gift in The Churchill Sisters." --The Washington Examiner
“Trethewey sheds new and fascinating light on the drama, passion and tragedy surrounding Diana, Sarah, Marigold and Mary, and the pivotal role each played in their father's illustrious political career…[a] richly drawn, gorgeously written group biography.” –Shelf Awareness (starred)
“[Trethewey] sets a brisk pace and succeeds in depicting a trio of intriguing women at a perilous moment in world affairs.” –Publishers Weekly
"This remarkable, sometimes tragic story of the daughters who supported their brilliant historical giant of a father will appeal to a broad range of readers...an engrossing and intelligent group biography." --Kirkus Reviews
"Enthralling." --The Bookseller (UK), Editor's Choice
“[The sisters’] lives were just as full of drama, passion and tragedy as the Mitfords…this intimate saga sheds much light on the complex dynamics of a family where forgiveness and acceptance were often required.” –The Bookshelf (UK)
"Trethewey has been able to shed invaluable new light on the tangled and occasionally fraught relationships that Churchill’s three adult daughters...each had with Winston, their mother Clementine, their brother Randolph, and each other...she has rightly produced a fine, uplifting work." --Andrew Roberts, bestselling author of Churchill: Walking with Destiny
“A thoughtful portrait of the lives of three women on the forefront of history, but most importantly, a poignant story of sisterhood.” –Catherine Grace Katz, bestselling author of The Daughters of Yalta
“A delightful and fascinating study of an unexplored area of Churchill family life.” –Celia Sandys, author of Chasing Churchill and granddaughter of Winston Churchill
“An absorbing insight into the lives of their extraordinary daughters. With careful research and a sympathetic understanding of her subject matter, an enthralling study of this unconventional trio fills a void that had existed for too long.” –Shelagh Montague Browne, personal secretary to Clementine Churchill
“Churchill’s daughters were at the heart of his inner circle...this book puts them center stage and reveals both the scale of their contribution and the resulting personal cost.” –Allen Packwood, Director of the Churchill Archives Center at Cambridge University
“A fresh and fascinating insight both into Churchill as a father and his remarkable children.” –Andrew Lownie, bestselling author of The Mountbattens
“This fascinating book brings the lives of [Churchill's] daughters out of the shadows for the first time...the extraordinary talents and resilience of these remarkable women that shine through. A revelation.” –Andrew Wilson, award-winning author of Mad Girl’s Love Song: Sylvia Plath and Life Before Ted
“Comprehensively researched and lovingly detailed.” –Anne deCourcy, author of The Husband Hunters