• First Lady

  • The Life and Wars of Clementine Churchill
  • By: Sonia Purnell
  • Narrated by: Charlotte Strevens
  • Length: 15 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 07-06-16
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Oakhill Publishing
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars 4.7 (3 ratings)

Regular price: $40.59

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Publisher's Summary

Without Churchill's inspiring leadership, Britain could not have survived its darkest hour and repelled the Nazi menace. Without his wife, Clementine, however, he might never have become Prime Minister. By his own admission, the Second World War would have been 'impossible without her'.
Clementine was Winston's emotional rock and his most trusted confidante. Yet her ability to charm Britain's allies and her humanitarian efforts on the home front earned her deep respect. Now Sonia Purnell explores the peculiar dynamics of this fascinating union.
©2016 Sonia Purnell (P)2016 Oakhill Publishing
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Critic Reviews

"Engrossing.... Clementine Churchill became her husband's essential confidante and adviser, vetting his speeches, smoothing over his faux pas, dealing with his constituents.... Purnell's book is the first formal biography of a woman who has heretofore been relegated to the sidelines." ( The New York Times)
"Winston Churchill kept nothing from Clementine. 'You know,' he informed FDR, 'I tell Clemmie everything.' Purnell has delivered an astute, pacey account of a woman who hardly ever emerged from the shadows. It is a sharp analysis of what it meant to be a politician's wife...and shows how much we can learn about Winston Churchill from his wife and marriage." ( The Wall Street Journal)
"Thorough and engaging.... Purnell's extensive and insightful biography offers a much welcome portrait of Clementine Churchill, a woman whose remarkable life has long been overshadowed by her famous husband." ( Washington Post)
"Compellingly readable.... Sonia Purnell's biography of Winston's wife Clementine brings her out from behind the shadow cast by the Great Man. She became her husband's wise counselor, discreetly offering sound advice, re-writing his speeches, toning down his foolish or angry letters, preventing him from making certain terrible political mistakes.... Her wheeling and dealing was done behind a veil of gracious femininity." ( The Independent)
"Eye-opening.... A bold biography of a bold woman; at last Purnell has put Clementine Churchill at the center of her own extraordinary story, rather than in the shadow of her husband's." ( Mail on Sunday)
"Fascinating.... [Purnell's] book may leave you thinking Clementine is one of the most underrated, complex women in British history." ( The Daily Beast)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Edward on 09-11-16

A good read (listen)

Excellent book that gives a great insight into this wonderful and unique woman. While it does touch on Winston's life it is absolutely about Mrs C. Brilliant.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Sue F on 02-10-18


I found this book both totally absorbing and hugely educational. What a woman she was!

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
1 out of 5 stars
By PalomaLLama on 07-27-17

Not to my liking

I found the narrator much too English aristocratic for my (Cdn) liking. Growing up in Canada, I found it hard to follow the story because is assumed a knowledge of the characters. After plowing through most of it I gave up. There are so many good books out there, why waste my time listening to something I was not enjoying.

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4 out of 5 stars
By Vanessa Young on 06-24-17

Very detailed biography

This book is an unflinching biography of Clemintine Churchill and, incidentally, of a long marriage's ups and downs, triumphs and tragedies. It is beautifully read excepting the chapter where the reader mixes up Austria and Australia. This is one for those interested in modern history.

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