Winston Churchill is one of the best-known and most revered figures of our time, the man who led Britain through its ‘darkest hour’. The last year alone has seen two feature films of his life. Many books have been published about his life and work, but very few have looked at his life through the prism of the house he occupied for over 40 years.
Chartwell is as fundamental to understanding Churchill as Hill Top is to Beatrix Potter. This Elizabethan manor – cared for by the National Trust today – was his inspiration, his refuge and his obsession. He had to rebuild the property almost from scratch after he bought it in 1922, spending money he could ill afford. Later he built a wall around the garden and several buildings by hand. ‘A day away from Chartwell is a day wasted,’ he once said. The book’s introduction features a special section telling Churchill’s life through ten special and unusual objects at Chartwell.
Featuring many rarely seen photographs, one previously unpublished, this beautifully illustrated book has an incisive text by respected biographer Sarah Gristwood. She traces every phase of his life – rebellious child, brave adventurer, political outcast, inspirational leader – always circling back to Chartwell, just as the great man himself did.
“Although many books have been published on the life and work of Sir Winston Churchill, few have looked at him through the prism of the house he occupied for over 40 years – Chartwell in Kent. In the new National Trust book, ‘Churchill: An Extraordinary Life’, Sarah Gristwood and Margaret Gaskin do just that.”