Mary Churchill’s War: The Wartime Diaries of Churchill’s Youngest Daughter
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A unique portrait of war from the private diaries of Winston Churchill’s youngest daughter, Mary. Compiled and edited by Mary’s daughter, Emma Soames, in collaboration with The Churchill Archives Centre.
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 frontrow view of the great events of the 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 air 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.
Interviewer Victoria Mather