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The Churchills: In Love and War MP3 CD – 9 May 2011

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • MP3 CD
  • Publisher: Tantor Media Inc; MP3 Una edition (9 May 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1452652058
  • ISBN-13: 978-1452652054
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 1.5 x 18.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,649,668 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


An absorbing goodread even for folks who don t typically indulge in history. . . . Lovell swriting style will keep general readers wanting more.

Famous lives everfascinate, and does Lovell ever deliver.

Meticulously detailed . . . eminently readable. --Walter Olson"

Meticulously detailed. . . eminently readable. --Walter Olson"

Famous lives ever fascinate, and does Lovell ever deliver.

An absorbing good read even for folks who don t typically indulge in history. . . . Lovell s writing style will keep general readers wanting more."

Meticulously detailed. . . eminently readable.--Walter Olson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Mary S. Lovell's best-selling biographies include Straight on Till Morning (Beryl Markham) and The Sisters (the Mitford family). She lives in England. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A great overview of all the family links to Winston Churchill.
Mary Lovell really knows how to keep the reader focused to her book
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x91e1deb8) out of 5 stars 43 reviews
36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x91e40d50) out of 5 stars Family Ties of Historic Achievements, Loyalty, Duty, Mental Depression, and Infidelity 3 May 2011
By Eitic - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
"The Churchills" captures the complex and intense family relationships that nurtured, shaped, inspired and burdened the greatest Briton to ever live. For the reader, like myself, who has read their share of Churchill biographies, and many of the books that he authored himself, you will find Lovell's book to be a must read. Lovell offers facts, anecdotes, and details on family relationships that constitute the landscape of Winston S. Churchill's life, as well as, the exceptional and, at times, outrageous extended family of Churchills by birth and marriage. The crush of debt, spendthrift extravagance, mental depression, suicides, inspired brilliance, career ending misjudgments, infidelities, divorces, religious conversions, extreme political views, and enduring love affairs make up the story of this family, as told by Lovell. Like Churchill himself, the family is larger than life and its story reads like an amazing novel. The reality of this family's story is simply too exceptional to be accepted as plausible fiction. It spans and fully engages every significant event from the age of Victoria to the passing of Kennedy's Camelot. A number of leading personalities and families of Britain, Continental Europe, and America are entwined with the Churchill family in a churning array of in-laws, paramours, and confidants. On that point, I would offer my only criticism. The family relationships, friendships, and multi-generational complexity of names, titles, and divorces would benefit from a more extensive family tree or list of key personalities. The use of first names, nicknames, and titles in the text did send me to the index a number of times to confirm the identity and relationships of the person being referenced. That is a minor complaint and, perhaps, illustrates the detailed and comprehensive history presented by the book. For anyone who enjoyed the movie "The King's Speech" or was fascinated by the recent royal wedding, you will be absorbed by this book in the first chapter. It is akin to the kind of entertaining insight offered of the aristocracy by the TV series Upstairs Downstairs. Of course, the families, traditions and personalities that shaped Churchill's character are now represented by a new generation of aristocracy. Like in the age of Winston, this new generation recently filled Westminster Abbey for the pomp of the latest royal wedding. After reading Lovell's book you may, indeed, appreciate how history repeated itself in the Churchill family. The book may also prompt a prayer of "God save Kate Middleton Windsor".
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x91e41354) out of 5 stars The Churchill Saga 17 May 2011
By Eileen Pollock - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Another book about Winston Churchill? Do we need yet another? Yes, most certainly, when it's a book about all the Churchills since the first Duke of Marlborough, concentrating on their personal lives. Mary Lovell writes entertainingly, yet the book is extensively footnoted and she even provides explanatory notes to supplement the text. Mostly it's about Winston, and she makes quick work of the generations between the first duke, a brilliant general who was gifted with Blenheim Castle, and Winston's talented father, Randolph, a second son of the seventh Duke.

I have read Martin Gilbert's one volume biography (the official biographer), I'm working my way through Churchill's own memoir of the Second World War (six volumes), and I've read many excellent supplemental books on The Greatest Briton (by vote) by distinguished historians. Lovell's book is for me light reading, but I'm glad to read it. Lovell puts a great deal in context. She relates the accomplishments of the first Duke of Marlborough in a chapter (Winston's own biography of his famous ancestor is two hefty volumes), while giving an amusing picture of his overbearing wife, Sarah, a close confidant of Queen Anne.

It is uplifting to read once again about Winston Churchill, since he was not only a brilliant statesman, but also a highly admirable person. The family motto is "faithful but unfortunate". In Winston's case, he was both faithful and fortunate. Thanks to Mary Lovell for providing this well written, carefully sourced volume.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9276dc54) out of 5 stars A Magnificent Family Biography 15 May 2011
By John D. Cofield - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Churchill family has contributed three towering figures to British history: John the first Duke of Marlborough, the nineteenth century politician Lord Randolph Churchill, and Sir Winston Churchill, the son of Lord Randolph who dominated early to mid twentieth century British politics. The Churchills have also succeeded in bringing into their bloodline contributions from many beautiful and highly accomplished women like Sarah Jennings, wife of the first Duke; the beautiful Jennie Jerome, wife of Lord Randolph; and Clementine Hozier, Sir Winston's equally redoubtable wife. Scattered among these giants have been many less remarkable Churchills: spendthrift nonentities careless of their heritage and overshadowed by their more impressive kin. Mary Lovell's magnificent family saga reveals the history of the Churchills in both its highs and its lows over the last three centuries.

Lovell begins with a chapter dealing with John and Sarah Churchill, the first Duke and Duchess of Marlborough, who held great military and political power at the beginning of the eighteenth century. The first Duke's battlefield accomplishments led the British people to bestow Blenheim, one of the great non royal palaces, on him and his descendants (but unfortunately without also bestowing lands capable of producing the wealth needed to maintain it, resulting in Blenheim becoming a huge money pit for generations of Marlboroughs.) Lovell then skims over the next few generations of nonentities to concentrate on the late nineteenth century when financial pressures led two Churchills to marry wealthy Americans. Lord Randolph's wife Jennie Jerome was both beautiful and highly intelligent, qualities she used to help her husband's career immensely before he finally self-destructed. Randolph's brother the Duke of Marlborough made a famously unhappy marriage to Consuelo Vanderbilt, using her money to restore Blenheim but doing little or nothing to help their union succeed. Randolph and Jennie produced Winston Churchill, whose career justly dominates the last half of the book, which reveals that the celebrated wartime leader had almost constant money worries, was a loving but far too indulgent father, and a deeply adoring husband to his beloved Clementine.

This is a long book, but it remained consistently entertaining and fascinating. The Churchills were leaders in Society as well as in politics, and their ups and downs and dealings with a vast array of friends and rivals make it impossible to put the book down at times. Lovell writes clearly, providing many footnotes to better explain some obscure terms or to more clearly identify some of the many people the Churchills dealt with over the years. I enjoyed The Churchills immensely and intend to reread it many times.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x925df93c) out of 5 stars Excellent look at the later generations of Churchills 25 July 2011
By Jill Meyer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Mary Lovell takes a reasoned approach to the Churchill family in her new biography, "The Churchills: In Love and War". She begins by writing that she has taken a personal rather than a strictly accomplishment look at the family. This is clear in her book, but she does put everything in context.

While Lovell begins her book with John and Sarah Churchill, builders of Blenheim Palace, most of this very large and readable book is about the generation of Winston's father, Randolf, and his older brother. Their marriages and wives are covered, in the context of Britain (and America) of the time. Both Randolf and his cousin, Charles, 9th Duke of Marlborough, married American "Dollar Princesses", those wealthy American women whose marriages to cash-poor and title-heavy Brits became common in the second half of the 19th century. It was a good deal on both sides economically, but the marriages made were often unhappy and of short duration. In fact, many of the marriages in the Churchill family were not successes; the one good, long-lasting one was between Winston and Clementine Hozier. They were wed 60 years or so and had five children, four of whom lived to adulthood. But of those four, three had relatively unhappy lives and marriages and died relatively young.

But Lovell writes about more than the marriages of the Churchills in the last two hundred years. She gives a good deal of space to non-Winston members of the Churchill family and writes about their position in history and society. She has good footnotes about people or events she mentions that might not be universally known by her readers.

The only topic I think she gives short shrift to is Winston's "Black Dog" of depression. Winston was not the only Churchill to be visited by the "dog" on a regular basis, and I'd love to see someone write on that subject alone: how depression affected the family. I also expected Lovell to write a little more about Pam Digby, Winston's son Randolf's first wife. She was of the famous Digby family and a descendent of Lady Jane Digby, who Lovell wrote a biography of called "A Scandalous Life: The Story of Jane Digby". If, as a reader of this review, you're looking for a great biography of one of the most interesting people in history, look for Lovell's biography of Jane Digby.

If you're looking for a good, interesting, long read, pick up "The Churchills" by Lovell. If you don't like it, you can always use it to balance on top of your head for better posture! It's a large book.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x92775a2c) out of 5 stars Sweeping saga 10 Sept. 2011
By Jody - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The Churchills' impact on world history cannot be underestimated. From the first Duke and Duchess to the inimitable Winston, the Churchills were contentious, controversial, tragic, flamboyant and brilliant. Often broke and never broken, the reader marvels at their energy and resilience. The tone is respectful, yet never fawning and reads like a novel. Considering the cast of characters, it's no wonder. While this book doesn't provide the detail of William Manchester's The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill, Visions of Glory and The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill: Alone, 1932-1940, it's a splendid survey though I would suggest the Manchester books for a slightly different perspective.

Mary Lovell says she chose the first and last Churchills as the focus of her book just because of the sheer volume of information and because these political Churchills had the most influence on history. If the title implies that it's an exhaustive study of all the Churchills, that's forgiveable because what's there is so good. The doomed Randolph and stunning Jennie who shamefully neglected their children Jennie, the awful marriage between poor little rich girl Consuelo Vanderbilt and Sunny Marlborough that saved Blenheim Palace The Glitter and the Gold, Duchess Gladys and her pack of dogs using Blenheim as a kennel, Winston's escape from the Boers and subsequent role as saviour of Britain--these people are larger than life and Ms. Lovell does them justice.

In the Kindle edition, the pictures are difficult to find without a location search. A minor quibble.
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