Churchill: The Unexpected Hero

By Paul Addison | Go to book overview

ONE
The Youngest Man in Europe,
1874–1901

Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill was born at Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, the home of the dukes of Marlborough, on 30 November 1874. His mother, Jennie Churchill, was the daughter of a New York financier, Leonard Jerome, and his wife Clara. Jerome, an unscrupulous wheeler-dealer who twice won and lost a fortune on the stock market, cut a dashing figure as a patron of the New York turf, transatlantic yachtsman, and prominent supporter of the North in the American Civil War. While he remained for most of the time in New York, Clara settled in Paris with her three daughters and the burning ambition, thwarted by the collapse of the second Empire in 1870, of marrying them into the French nobility. According to Jerome family lore Clara's great-grandmother Meribah had been an Iroquois Indian.1 This may be a romantic myth but it was passed on to Winston by his mother as a matter of fact. In his eighty-fifth year Churchill told an American physician that he was descended from a Seneca Indian squaw2 ––the Senecas being one of the six nations of the Iroquois confederation.

Winston's father, Lord Randolph Churchill, was a younger son

-7-

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Churchill: The Unexpected Hero
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Acknowledgements vii
  • Contents ix
  • Abbreviations xi
  • Prologue 1
  • One - The Youngest Man in Europe, 1874–1901 7
  • Two - The Renegade, 1901–1911 29
  • Three - The Lilliput Napoleon, 1911–1915 57
  • Four - The Winstonburg Line, 1915–1924 82
  • Five - Respectability Won and Lost, 1924–1939 112
  • Six - The Making of a Hero, 1939–1945 153
  • Seven - Climbing Olympus, 1945–1965 216
  • Eight - Churchill Past and Present 246
  • Notes 255
  • Bibliography 275
  • Index 287
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