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Mary Churchill's War

Emma Soames

A unique portrait of war -- and a charming coming-of-age story -- from the private diaries of Winston Churchill's youngest daughter, Mary.

'It wasn't easy being a Churchill child - and only Mary managed it with serenity and aplomb, as her diary of wartime ATS service shows' ANNE DE COURCY, SUNDAY TELEGRAPH

In 1939 seventeen-year-old Mary found herself in an extraordinary position at an extraordinary time: it was the outbreak of the Second World War and her father, Winston Churchill, had been appointed First Lord of the Admiralty; within months he would be Prime Minister.

The young Mary Churchill was uniquely placed to observe this remarkable historical moment, and her diaries -- most of which have never been published -- provide a front-row view of the great events of war, as well as exchanges and intimate moments with her father. But they also capture what it was like to be a young woman during wartime. An impulsive and spirited writer, full of coming-of-age self-consciousness and joie de vivre, Mary's diaries are untrammelled by hindsight or self-censorship or nostalgia.
From aid raid sirens at 10 Downing Street to seeing action with the ATS, from cocktail parties with presidents and royals to accompanying her father on key diplomatic trips, Mary's wartime diaries are full of colour, rich in historical insight, and a charming and intimate portrait of life alongside Winston Churchill.

Compiled and edited by Mary's daughter, Emma Soames, in collaboration with The Churchill Archives Centre.


Emma Soames is a writer, broadcaster and columnist who has been the editor of the Literary Review, Tatler, ES Magazine, the Telegraph magazine and Saga. She is the second child of Mary and Christopher Soames and is her mother's Literary Executor; she is the granddaughter of Winston and Clementine Churchill. In collaboration with the Churchill Archives Centre, which were purpose-built in 1973 to house Sir Winston Churchill's papers. It is now the home of the papers of almost 600 important political, military and scientific figures from the Churchill era and after, including Mary and Christopher Soames. Situated within the grounds of Churchill College, Cambridge, the Archive Centre's mission is to preserve and make available to the public the unique materials in its care.

Category:  Military history, Politics
ISBN:  9781529341515
Publisher:  Hodder & Stoughton
On sale:  October 2021
Format:  Paperback
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