First Lady talk about Winston Churchill’s wife and ‘emotional rock’ coming to Hatfield

First Lady

First Lady - Credit: Archant

A political journalist and writer will be talking about the life of Winston Churchill’s wife in Hatfield later this week.

Acclaimed biographer Sonia Purnell will be discussing her latest book, First Lady: The Life and Wars of Clementine Churchill, at The Weston Auditorium, on the University of Hertfordshire’s de Havilland Campus, on Friday, May 15.

The book has been published to coincide with the 75th anniversary of Winston Churchill becoming Prime Minister and the 70th anniversary of VE Day.

Without Winston Churchill’s inspiring leadership Britain would not have survived its darkest hour.

Without his wife Clementine, however, he might never have become Prime Minister.

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By his own admission, World War Two would have been “impossible without her”.

Clementine was Winston’s emotional rock and his most trusted confidante.

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Not only was she involved in some of the most crucial decisions of war, but she exerted an influence over her husband and the Government that would appear scandalous to modern eyes.

Yet her ability to charm Britain’s allies and her humanitarian efforts on the Home Front earned her deep respect, both behind closed doors in Whitehall and among the population at large.

That Clementine should become Britain’s ‘First Lady’ was by no means preordained.

Born into impecunious aristocracy, her childhood was far from gilded.

Her mother was a serial adulteress and gambler, who spent many years uprooting her children to escape the clutches of their erstwhile father, and by the time Clementine entered polite society she had become the target of cruel snobbery and rumours about her parentage.

In Winston, however, she discovered a partner as emotionally insecure as herself, and in his career she found her mission.

Her dedication to his cause may have had tragic consequences for their children, but theirs was a marriage that changed the course of history.

Sonia Purnell explores the peculiar dynamics of this fascinating but often ignored partnership, as she presents the inspiring story of one of the most important women in modern history.

Suitable for ages 11 plus, the talk starts at 7.30pm and will last for 90 minutes, including interval.

Admission costs £15 full, and £12 concessions.

* To book tickets call 01707 281127 or book online at

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