Clementine Churchill

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 17 Sep 2019

Member Reviews

A fascinating look at the life of Clementine Churchill nee Hozier, wife of Winston Churchill, illustrated with a series of wonderful photographs. 

Clementine has always been a rather hazy figure in the background of official UK history, and I had no idea she was so involved and influential. From organising charity fundraising, and supporting the women's vote, through to her influence on her husband and his political colleagues, Clementine refused to be kept in the traditional roles of wife and mother. She was an interesting mix of contradictions in both her personal and public life, and has been denied a place in history for far too long. 

Thanks to NetGalley and publishers, Quarto Publishing Group - White Lion Publishing, for the opportunity to read an ARC.
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There are so many books about Winston Churchill, but none really give Clementine the credit she deserves for his place in history.  She was a loyal adviser and confidant to her husband during turbulent times and was the driving force in his becoming Prime Minister.  This book captures her childhood that was deprived of affection and sometimes food and the influence she had on her powerful husband.  This is definitely the best account of Clementine's life that I have read!
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Having read Clementine (also by Sonia Purnell) years ago, Clementine Churchill: A Life in Pictures (obtained through #NetGalley) was like taking a nice refresher course. At a little over two hundred pages and filled with pictures, this is a faster read than Purnell’s first book, yet it gives an equally comprehensive view of Clementine Churchill’s life; call it the abridged and illustrated version.

Even if you don’t plan to read every word in the book and just focus on the beautiful pictures, you’ll still learn a lot about Clementine through the highlighted quotes and photo descriptions. The pictures do a better job than words ever could in showing the importance of Clementine’s public side, a part of her life many people probably are not aware of. Clementine Churchill certainly personified the “woman behind the man.” Winston Churchill was not the easiest man to live with, but she had an equally strong personality, most of it shaped during her difficult childhood. It is argued in the book, probably rightly so, that Winston Churchill would not have reached the heights he did without the help of his wife.

Clementine Churchill strikes a good balance between the private and public side of its subject. While the text in this book is illuminating, albeit a little one sided in favor of the Churchills, the photographs are what make this a winner. Not only does it give a good view of Clementine’s life, but it also offers an insight into what life was like at the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth century. The picture which struck me most was of Clementine Churchill with Eleanor Roosevelt, a woman I have admired for a very long time. It is obvious that they were more alike than I ever expected, but Sonia Purnell has a distinct preference for the Churchills which felt quite annoying at times. It is easy for a biographer to fall in love with its subject, but a little more objectivity would have made this a five-star book in my account.
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Clementine Churchill: A Life in Pictures is a sparkling biography about Mrs. Winston Churchill. The biographer credits Clementine with supporting and providing the confidence necessary to her famous husband so that he could live the extraordinary life of service that he did.

In the meantime, she also devoted herself to her country as well as raised a family. Her role in Churchill's life has gone largely unnoticed, but it seems she is finally taking her place in history.

"Not only did they weather repeated public and personal humiliation together, they overcame the bitterest of personal tragedies, and survived the all but intolerable strains of being at the center of two world wars. ... The question is not simply what did she do for him, but also what could he have done without her?" pg 9

I knew, in a general way about Winston Churchill's life, but this biography about Clementine fills in many of the gaps in my knowledge. And actually, it was quite interesting reading. The personal life of the Churchills was filled with a surprising amount of drama and scandal.

In addition, they worked with and knew so many powerful people from the time period. I particularly liked the chapters about Clementine's acquaintance with Eleanor Roosevelt.

"The case can be made that no other premier's wife, in a democratic country at least, has played such a pivotal role in her husband's government — arguably greater during the Second World War than the greatest of American First Ladies, Clementine's direct contemporary, Eleanor Roosevelt." pg 18

The pictures bring this incredible woman, and the trying times she lived in, to life. Many of the photos are un-posed and Clementine is looking off camera, smiling at other people. Even in photos, one gets the sense of how much of this woman's life was lived in the public eye.

Though her contributions were perhaps unrecognized during her lifetime, Clementine was appreciated by her husband. Take this note he wrote to her on their fortieth wedding anniversary:

""I send this token, but how little can it express my gratitude to you for making my life & any work I have done possible.""

She is certainly a woman who deserves to be remembered.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for a free advance reader copy of this book. It is slated to be on sale in October 2019. Please note, the brief quotations I cited in this review may change or be omitted in the final print edition.
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Sonia Purnell writes of history in a very readable style – I am also reading her book on a female WWII spy, & have particularly noted this there as well. I have been reading biographies of Winston Churchill for fifty years, & also read two other books recently on Clementine Churchill, but have still learned some things in this volume. The wealth of photos is also welcome : how many of us have always pictured her as the white-haired wife of the PM? It is very interesting to ‘meet’ her younger self. Clementine Churchill was a lady well worth knowing : whilst not perfect, this only made her more human & relatable. This book is a deserved tribute to a person who should be remembered not just as a Prime Minister’s wife - albeit for which we owe her a great debt of gratitude – but also in her own right.
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Clementine Churchill had to face the hardest decision of her life. The doctor had warned her that her husband, the PM, had a heart condition which could cause his death, and Great Britain was in the middle of a dreadful war. Should she tell Winston?

Clementine was a highly political wife whose role in supporting her husband and, indeed, in playing her own part, has been vastly underestimated. Sonia Purnell details the wonderful work that she did, including raising a vast amount for the Red Cross to help the people of Russia and being the president of the YWCA. The marriage was often difficult, and she even felt that she needed to escape from Winston's bad temper a lot, but it remained very strong. Clementine apparently had failings as a mother, however.

This was an interesting book, accompanied by photographs from the time. I would like to read much more about Clementine Churchill.

I received this free ebook from NetGalley in return for an honest review.
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"She was a woman with conviction: one who knew her worth in a true partnership".

I was intrigued by Clementine Churchill ever since I saw her in the series "The Crown". Sonia Purnell's  book satisfied my curiosity for this formidable woman, wife of an amazing man, Sir Winston Churchill. What amazed me was that behind the couple's glamorous political and social lives, they both survived and thrived after suffering personal tragedies, made extremely difficult decisions and defined the British political scene through two World Wars. It was amazing to see how much Winston Churchill  trusted her judgment while making political decisions.
   Clementine Churchill was a woman committed to her husband and her country. She played a critical role in British politics with her tireless work and I was delighted to read her biography.
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This is a well-curated book about the life of Clementine Churchill. The pictures and the text are very well arranged. It gives Clementine her own space, allowing her to be as a person and not as Winston Churchill's wife, a role she performed superbly. Her life was not easy, and she managed to make it as grand as possible. It was nice to read about the work done on the sidelines, and how nothing just "happens" - you have to put a lot of work into it, and Clementine sure did. For herself, for Winston, and for their country. I felt her pain when she wasn't able to connect to her children, who then grew up each with their own sadness, but it might be their part to pay to save the rest.
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I’ll be honest with you; my knowledge of the legend of Winston Churchill isn’t deep enough for me to truly appreciate just how much Clementine’s role in his life’s achievements was relegated to the shadows, at best. Nor have I watched the recent movies or series offerings where her character and role, and the part they played in UK’s war efforts, have been given credence.

Regardless, through the portrayal of Clementine in the book, you are really given a sense of her life’s sole commitment to Winston and the country. In reality, it’s seems she shaped all her actions, and interactions with those around her, to one common goal, often to the detriment of her children and her health. To be honest, I was almost shocked to find out that her children and step children were brought into the fray when it seemed to suit the greater good, again to the detriment of even their own mental health.

All in all this was a very enlightening read.
History needs people like Clementine, to persevere at all costs, to not lose focus on what’s important, and to be selfless and persistent.
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This book did not download properly and I could not view it.was hoping to se3 the pictures.. a fascinating figure of history.
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I admired both Sonia Purnell and Clementine Churchill even before I was (fortunately) approved by NetGalley for this book on Clementine Churchill .  I learned so much from the biography written by Ms. Purnell.  This book reiterates many important elements of this fascinating woman's biography, from her troubled childhood throughout two World Wars and her life beyond.  What makes this book different and special, at least to me, are the photographs.  They are fascinating both in terms of Clementine and Winston's lives and as illustrations of the lives of people who lived throughout the 1900s.  The text and photos are perfect complements to one another and add to the depth of experience for the reader.

I am savoring this book as I read it.  I highly recommend it and give it five stars.

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this magnificent book.
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The wife of one of the greatest British leaders who led Britain out of its darkest hour, Clementine Churchill played a significant role in her husband’s career - whether it was blunting the edge of his directness bordering on rudeness, or adroitly handling Charles de Gaulle when tensions ran high between him Churchill, she could be relied upon to help diffuse situations. Her ability to charm people, speak her mind, yet do it gracefully and directly was a critical asset to Churchill. She worked tirelessly to support her husband, fundraise for causes, all while she battled health issues and personal challenges. A woman of character and fortitude, her influence on Churchill cannot be underestimated - she played a pivotal role in many political discussions and decisions - helping to influence and drive the course of history alongside her husband. Sonia Purnell has done a great job depicting Clementine as a woman in action unafraid to speak her mind, vulnerable yet strong, and who dressed impeccably no matter the occasion. A well executed book with great photos — a recommended read! Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this book.
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Clementine Churchill: A Life in Pictures

Exquisite photographs, showing this beautiful woman, standing by her man – through thick and thin, in war and peace and despite all her own unmet wishes and dreams. Before reading this book, I had little to no knowledge of this woman. Now I’m going after more. . . .I’m curious and ready to spend my reading time on her.

Because of the tumultuous times they lived in and in which they were photographed, throughout the 200+ pages you see far more than Mrs. Churchill. You have the family, and the uber famous Winston Churchill, England and war in all its varieties. But there are other scenes I didn’t expect: tennis courts, a mother with a troublesome son, a glamourous party puss with catchy round dark glasses. Mrs. C mixes and mingles with Eleanor Roosevelt, and in charity groups assisting the hoi polloi, in temples of art, in the fields of battle and serving tea from her own sitting room. 

I highly recommend this book, 5 stars worth!

But my favorite? The picture on the front of the book. She is the very picture of a woman who doesn’t suffer fools, and brooks no argument. Bone-deep beauty, with a mysteriousness that hits you in an afterthought, not quite confirmable but you believe it is there like you believe in the dawn. Her eyes snap on you and you feel Seen. And that’s just a book cover! Her real-live presentation must have been breathtaking. 

A Sincere thank you to Sonia Purnell, White Lion Publishing and NetGalley for an ARC to read and review.
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A very different read to my normal book choices but I’m  read glad that I read this. In life especially politics all we hear about are the males advice yet as the saying goes behind every good man is a great woman,
Wonderfully written, beautiful 
Thank you to NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read this book
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This is an abridged version of Sonia Purnell's biography of Mrs. Churchill, supplemented with many fascinating photos. However, it never feels as though anything is missing. The subject of this story dealt with many difficult challenges, yet maintained her strength and dignity, and this is very apparent in the photos. The quality of many of the photos is quite exceptional as well--you rather feel you are looking at an art book, not just a biography. I am eager to get a print copy of this book for my students to peruse.

Thank you to the publishers and to NetGalley for the digital ARC.
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Unfortunately, I was unable to download this book onto Kindle. I was not able to read and review it. After hearing good things about this book I was anxious to read it.
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Thank you NetGalley for an ARC.

As a history buff, I’ve read a lot about Winston Churchill, but ashamedly knew almost nothing about his wife Clementine, so when I saw this book, I jumped at the chance to read it. 

Clementine Churchill: A Life in Pictures has two things going for it for those that don’t normally read biography, or just don’t have the time for a 500 page tome. First off, it’s short, just over 200 pages, and while the author does give us a little insight into Clementine’s childhood and upbringing, the majority of the book is about her as Clementine Churchill, politician’s wife. Second, the photos! For me, I love having photos in the book while I’m reading a biography, or history. They give you a better sense of depth and understanding. Many times you can see the strain on the person’s face that the author is trying to describe, or see the changes in style, in this case, due to war. 

Clementine, or Clemmie as Winston and family referred to her as, was an amazing woman for her generation. Although she was from an upper class family, she was raised by a divorcee mother in often times destitute conditions. She was a beauty, intelligent, and definitely had her own opinions about the world, politics, and women’s roles. Although unable to vote herself, she was a great campaigner for Winston and was probably responsible for his many of his political successes. She often tried to temper his extremely conservative views during speeches in order to appeal to more voters, but often times he failed to listen, although this would change. She had an innate sense of what the populace was feeling, what the country needed, and she became a political celebrity in Britain much like Elenor Roosevelt did in the US during the same time period. 

Clementine had her faults too. She admittedly was not a caring and doting mother, and the relationships with her older children were strained. She also suffered from depression and other health issues throughout her life. 

Like Winston, Clementine dedicated her life to her country, knowing that some parts of her life would suffer, and that she would never be credited with the work or effort that she put into Winston, his career, her country, or the war. 

This book has made me eager to read more about Clementine. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves biographies, history, or women’s studies.
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Clementine Churchill never fit the role of the woman behind the man she was a force a strong intelligent woman who helped guide her husband his policy career.A really interesting ahead of her time woman a well written look through photographs  at the real woman.#netgalley#quartobooks
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Clementine Churchill was a woman defined by war and politics.  Her husband, Winston, is arguably one of the most important figures of the 20th century, however, his accomplishments would not have been possible without his wife.  Clementine Churchill, A Life in Pictures by Sonia Purnell examines the choices Clementine made and the lasting impacts she created.  Churchill represented a time when political wives were establishing their own roles and Clementine did so masterfully.  She took great care to position her husband for military and political success by crafting her own adept analytical mind.  Clementine Churchill is often overlooked because of her gender and her choice to support her husband's aspirations over her own, but her personal history was one that influenced the entire world during WWII.  The inclusion of pictures from Clementine's life only enriches the fascinating history.
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Hi I was really looking forward to reading about Clemmie as I think she must have been a very strong woman to be married to Winston and all that entailed not to mention her family! 

Unfortunately because it was a protected PDF, I just couldn't download.  Neither my tablet nor phone would do it.

What a shame!
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