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Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, United Kingdom, 2007/08/24 - Jennie Jerome was the original American Dollar Princess as featured in the acclaimed “Dollar Princesses” exhibition at The American Museum in Britain. On Sunday 9th September 2007 Anne Sebba will talk about her new book on Jennie Jerome, Lady Randolp.
Jennie Churchill: Winston’s American Mother explores in detail this ambitious and oft-misunderstood woman. An outsider and an original Jennie is infamously remembered for her reputed two hundred lovers, with history granting her the unforgiving epithet ‘more panther than woman’. This biography dispels such simplified and subjective judgments, by combining the academic rigour of an historian with the emotional understanding of a soldier’s mother; Anne Sebba provides a heart-warming account of the fullest of lives.
Once half of the ‘most brilliant, and extravagant, couple that advanced on London’, Jennie Churchill had, in the words of her son, ‘the wine of life coursing through her veins’. She was, in her own right, a brilliant woman in an age before such brilliance was encouraged; the political dynamo behind her husband, a talented pianist and notable philanthropist.
At a time when Anglo-American relations are under intense scrutiny, and when interest in Winston, the ‘Greatest Briton’, is perennially high, Anne Sebba has gained unprecedented access to personal lives of the Churchill family. The result is a nuanced portrait of this cornerstone of high society.
Most personal of all is the picture of Jennie Churchill, the mother. Examined from a twenty-first-century perspective Anne Sebba demonstrates how Jennie was distantly beautiful yet closely supportive, and how it was her steadfast faith in Winston’s destiny that carried him through to his election as Prime Minister nineteen years after her death.
Jennie Churchill: Winston’s American Mother is both an intimately personal story of a family, and a woman, at the centre of twentieth-century British society, as well as an insightful and instructive account of how the ‘most beguiling Churchill of them all’ lived and how her impression upon those around her lived on.
JENNIE CHURCHILL - Winston’s American Mother by Anne Sebba is published by John Murray on 6th September 2007 £25 HB
Anne Sebba (annesebba.com) is a biographer, lecturer and former Reuter’s foreign correspondent. Her past publications include The Exiled Collector, Mother Teresa: Beyond the Image and Laura Ashley: A Life by Design. Mother of three, she lives and works in London.
Museum Director’s and Anne Sebba available for interview. Images available on request. To attend a media visit, accommodation can be arranged.