Sir Winston Churchill's paternal grandmother (the mother of Randolph) has been a background figure in many biographies but her own story has never been told until now. As the eldest daughter of 3rd Marchioness of Londonderry Frances's life was steeped in great historical names and occasions, from Tsar Alexander I and the Duke of Wellington (her godfather) to her childhood friendship with Queen Victoria, and ultimately her famous grandson, Sir Winston Churchill. She was an inspiring woman, who transformed Blenheim Palace into not only a family home, but also a social and political focus for the life of the nation. She was a deeply caring woman who often acted as a surrogate mother to the younger members of her family, including Winston. Her crowning achievement, fully and dramatically retold in this book, was her huamnity, leadership and skill in averting the effects of the Irish potato famine in 1879. It was this most public performance which brought Frances the award of the Order of Victoria and Albert from Queen Victoria herself, normally reserved for members of the royal family. This absorbing and remarkable book restores a most gracious lady to her proper place at Blenheim.
About the Author
Margaret Elizabeth Forster is married to the archivist at Blenheim Palace, who is continuing to work on the Duke of Marlborough's personal family archives. The author has been granted exclusive access to the Blenheim archives for her book.