By Mary S. Lovell
'There by no means used to be a Churchill from John of Marlborough down who had both morals or principles', so stated Gladstone. From the 1st Duke of Marlborough - soldier of genius, stressed empire-builder and cuckolder of Charles II - onwards, the Churchills were politicians, gamblers and profligates, heroes and womanisers. The Churchills is a richly layered portrait of a unprecedented set of fellows and ladies - grandly formidable, usually impecunious, impulsive, conceited and courageous. And towering above the Churchill extended family is the determine of Winston - his disasters and his triumphs proven in a brand new and revealing context - finally our 'greatest Briton'.
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Do you apprehend any serious opposition from me supposing it comes to that? Hardly. Yet you know my views. I have great confidence in you and still greater in your mother and anyone you would accept and your mother approves I could not object to. Provided always he is not a Frenchman or any of those continental cusses. I I After days of begging her mother to be allowed to correspond with Randolph, Jennie was given p~rmission to write to him just once. She wrote lovingly, saying that she had told her mother and, even though she liked him a great deal, she did not agree to the engagement, but Jennie was sure they would win her over in the end.
He had already more or less accepted that he would follow his father into politics, a solution much desired by the Duke, who had arranged for his son to stand as candidate for Woodstock in the forthcoming general election. The result of this election was almost a foregone conclusion. Any member of the Duke's family who stood as candidate at Woodstock was bound to be elected, but the proprieties must be observed. Randolph must at least appear to fight the borough, in other words meet the electors and give a speech.
Added to this there is a christening mug in the family engraved with the words: 'Jennie Jerome 1854'. Jennie's statement in her memoir (Reminiscences ofLady Randolph Churchill) that she spent her early childhood in Trieste and spoke mainly Italian until the age of six, cannot be true. 2: RANDOLPH AND JENNIE 27 not allowed to meet the man who would become one of her greatest friends in later life. Although her social life improved in New York, Clara had never forgotten her dream of returning to Paris to live.