A Daughters Tale

A Daughters Tale Glad I read this one, altho I admit to being much interested in her father, rather than her Being the daughter of such a famous man, especially that famous man, its not surprising that she entered the service at 18, and had a great deal of responsibility at that young age But also, since this was her story, she included many diary entries and letters, with a lot having to do with parties and dresses, etc The family traveled a lot, together and separately, and there is also a lot about that, along with much about the history unfolding at the time, with her father in charge She deeply loved her father, and was always happy to have dinner alone with him when the chance came up, but also didn t make those times last long because she was afraid of boring him Although this book ends at her marriage in 1947, and she just died several years ago, I d say she had quite a life. Often, the celebrity family memoir is either a distasteful tell all or a yawn inducing whitewash This book leans white washy, but it is by no means boring The answer to my frequent question while reading any book would I like to invite this author over for dinner is a resounding Yes Since the author died in 2014, I d be delighted to have dinner with one of her five children Mary Soames is the child of consolation of Winston and Clementine Churchill born after the death of their toddler daughter Marigold, Mary was 8, 11, and 13 years younger than her older siblings Beloved and adored, she inherited the best qualities of both her parents This book covers her early life up to her marriage in 1947 to Christopher Soames More than just a memoir of the child of a famous person, it is a portrait of a long ago time in England it has to be in England when a nanny named Nana read for hours to her charge, and teenage friends memorize a Shakespeare sonnet each day Soames expounds on books she loved and the Victorian religious stories she didn t At the end of each of these busily and happily occupied days came an evening ritual reading aloud This was a treasured highlight of my routine, and my greatest punishment was to be depriced of this great treat Starting after teatime, Nana would read to me when bedtime arrived, we adjourned upstairs, and the reading continued while I undressed, folding my clothes carefully we then removed to the adjacent bathroom, where I took as long as possible to wash tiresome interruptions to the narrative being occasioned by very necessary knee scrubbings Swathed in a towel, I would try to spin time out Oh, we must finish the chapter please Nana seemed an inexhaustible reader, and throughout my nursery years I listened enthralled to her renderings of many books some of them favourites with my grandchildren s generation still all of Beatrix Potter, and the Christopher Robins then Black Beauty I remember sobbing into my face flannel over poor Ginger s story The Cuckoo Clock and The Tapestry Room by Mrs Molesworth Lewis Carroll s Alice s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass Kenneth Grahame s The Wind in the Willows and Charles Kingleys The Water Babies and, of course, J.M Barrie s Peter Pan.She also writes about her childhood faith, raised by her nanny to say prayers, guided by a vicar at a neighboring church, rooted and grounded in the Book of Common Prayer and the King James Bible All in all, this was a winsome read And now I m combing through YouTube clips of Mary Soames speaking. This is the loveliest book I will definitely buy it so I can keep my own copy forever It was such a treat to read these reminiscences by Lady Soames, the daughter of the great Winston Churchill.She begins with an account of her idyllic life at Chartwell in the beautiful countryside Here she enjoyed life with a menagerie of animals, watching the antics of her siblings, and riding and even bricklaying with her father She felt somewhat isolated from her siblings because she was the youngest and they were several years older so she describes herself as a bit odd However, glamour touched on her life even then Important politicians and artists, such as the painter, John Lavery, visited and young Mary had a hand in helping her sister, Sarah, elope Life soon became a splendid whirl of dances, balls, and several romances for the young and pretty debutante Queen Charlotte s Ball certainly seems like a fairytale event Her teenage years were touched by sadness, however A broken engagement made her feel guilty and lessened her confidence somewhat Mary Churchill had to grow up impossibly fast when the dark days of the war came She describes these eventful years and the impact it had on her father, who became Prime Minister, especially vividly Overhearing her father say that women would have to do the work of men now, Mary impetuously decided to join the war effort She entered the mixed batteries and eventually became a Junior Commander in charge of over 200 young women Although London was under fire and being devastated by terrible bombings, she still managed to have a good time on occasion there were still visits to nightclubs, romances and enjoyable family occasions.Some of the most interesting events in the book occur when Mary travels with her father to important conferences in Canada and Berlin She is in a position to describe MacKenzie King, the Prime Minister of Canada, as a cosy old thing and Roosevelt as a cute, cunning old bird Her joy at being able to help her father on these occasions shines through the book.Her agony at watching her father suffer when important battles are lost during the course of the war makes the reader feel for her Many dreadful events are brought home to the reader in this book, such as the fall of France and the defeat at Tobruk At one stage Mary even fell to her knees to pray because she was so unhappy about her country s situation I am not going to write about the ending but most readers will find that it s one of their favourite parts of this wonderful book. I recently read this book before going to London and visiting Churchill s WWII bunker at the Churchill War Museum and going to Chartwell, where he lived with his wife and children Having read Mary Soames book before going made these places come alive for me She was an extraordinary woman who loved her father deeply and who was part of a fascinating time in history I would highly recommend it for anyone who is interested in learning about Churchill and the British experience of WWII I would also highly recommend going to the Churchill War Museum and visiting Chartwell, which is a beautiful estate where you can see not only the home where they lived and the gorgeous grounds but also Churchill s artwork The book was made even poignant by the fact that Lady Soames, who was the youngest and last remaining of the Churchill children, died just a few days before I left for the UK. I have not read many memoirs I have probably never really read many in my life, nor will I ever read many in my days to come It s not a genre I know very well, or have much interest in most of the time My boyfriend always says he bleeds milkshakes, and I think the same could be said for me and fantasy That s not to say I don t understand or get the point of a good bio autobio etc I do, I just have a lack of interest most of the time, and honestly prefer something with a little magic to my story PAnyway, A Daughter s Tale is by no means the worst book, autobio or not, that I ve had the displeasure of reading, but is definitely by no means something I d recommend to anyone other than a Churchill historian, or someone interested in the day to day on goings of WSC And that is precisely the problem A Daughter s Tale is sadly not really about Mary Soames, or her relationship with her parents or siblings Instead it is a rather surface look at the social life of WSC and his family Details about people, fashion, and even food hold precedence, while Mrs Soames carefully, and uncritically, writes about her family life almost shallowly Her personal feelings are minimally, if ever, discussed or reflected on, while moments where her family is behaving less than admirably are passed over just as quickly, and even, in a few cases, explanations are left unsaid Soames s narrative is almost a contradiction somewhat as it attempts to present negative aspects of her now dead family, yet attempts to protect them from this at the same time Her relationships with her father and mother are probably some of the most interesting aspects of Soames s narrative, especially in relation to their near constant absence for most of Soames s life Her relation with her older siblings is another aspect that s certainly intriguing, especially regarding their vast differences in age, and Soames s misguided attempts to be involved in their lives In addition to this is Soames s nearly invisible narrative regarding her weight, an aspect about herself that is mentioned not only by other people, but even indirectly by Soames s mother and even Soames herself There s also this weird emphasis on fashion, especially regarding WSC, that s just odd Seriously, I m not here to read about Winston s matching slippers, as exciting as that may seem Well, looks like I ve got enough to talk about for my seminar 2.5 5 Quite enjoyable peek into personal life of the Churchill family from the perspective of the youngest Churchill daughter, Mary Covers the period of time from her birth until her marriage two years after the end of WW2.My only quibble is how she refers to her parents she jumps around from Mummie and Papa to Winston and Clementine pretty much randomly She also removes herself from some situations with her siblings older brother Randolph, older sisters Diana and Sarah by saying things like his father was upset when it would make sense, in my opinion, to say Our father was upset Still, for History buffs and Churchill fans, this is a great book. A fascinating slice of history from Mary Soames, Winston Churchill s youngest daughter It covers her childhood through the end of World War 2, and gives a different perspective on Churchill and the rest of the family Her trips with Churchill to foreign countries during the war for conferences were fascinating I hadn t realized that he traveled so much And her own experiences as a member of the ATS are also interesting Based on her diaries and letters, I found this a very readable memoir, and would recommend it for anyone interested in the period, or in the life of a great man from a daughter s perspective. Probably I should have known from the sub title that this book would be a memoir of the author herself, not of her father But I didn t, and it took me a while to get over that disappointment when beginning to read the book I have always been a big Winston Churchill fan, despite the fact that he was a conservative and I m not and that he loved and tried to hang on to the British Empire and I m not an admirer of imperialism I didn t know enough about Mary Churchill to want to read a book about her.Of course both Winston and Clementine Churchill play major roles in Mary s story Mary was the youngest of the five Churchill children The fourth child died suddenly at age three and both Churchill s were grief stricken Mary was born a few years later and was eight years younger than the next youngest child She grew up as the apple of her father s eye and as a great comfort and friend to her mother Mary s memoirs end at the close of WW II when she is in her very early twenties Most of her story is told through her diary entries at the time, so we get a fairly young and frequently immature Mary.A little blurb on the dust jacket describes the memoirs as totally honest I think not Clearly the Churchill family was warm and loving and, as with all famous families, the children hope not to disappoint their parents but have a hard time living up to their legacy We get none of this from Mary She hero worshiped her father Her older siblings seem to have had a harder time being Churchills than did Mary I did not want her to write an expose, as many children do but I did hope for some analysis and sober reflection Perhaps the diaries of a young girl would not reflect this but writing about seventy years later, I think it s fair to expect some reflection and analysis.She does write rather charmingly of her early years at Chartwell, the Churchill s country estate, where her father loved to paint and do household improvements, her mother loved to garden, and she Mary delighted in keeping chickens, goats, horse back riding and various other country things The book also includes the time the family spent at No 10 Downing Street and Checkers, when her father was Prime Minister during WW II and she herself volunteered for service in the army I thought this was the most interesting part of her story We learn that the Churchills, being great Francophiles, were particularly devastated when France fell to the Nazis We learn a little of the deprivation suffered by the air raids and bombings and rationing and how much they envied the Yanks who seemed to have so much than the British soldiers or the British people during the war Their presence in England evoked appreciation and jealously they were overpaid, oversexed and over here Mary met almost everybody who was anybody at that time The list of names goes on and on and is very impressive, but that s it it s like a list Very little insight These famous people were charming, entertaining, well dressed or not We don t get too much As a part of high society, she attended lots of parties and balls We always find out what she wore and who she danced with, but, again, not much For some reason I could never detect, her parents are variously referred to as papa and mummie and Winston and Clementine They were both high spirited and somewhat high strung and fiercely devoted to each other Other accounts I have read about their marriage bear this out but also say that Clementine sometimes had to escape from Winston because he could be so exasperating Mary mentions some long voyages her mother takes on her own but never hints that the reason was she needed a breather from her father She also very briefly alludes to Pamela s affair with Averell Harriman as being a major reason for her divorce from Randolph, the oldest in the family and the only son but never alludes to the many rumors about Randolph s affairs or his drinking Harriman was a close friend of the Churchills and apparently continued to be, despite Pamela s leaving their son for him To be fair, Mary does write about Randolph s frequent bad behavior which caused his father much embarrassment.I couldn t help comparing Mary s memories to those of Curtis Roosevelt, Franklin and Eleanor s grandson He wrote a very loving memoir of growing up in the White House, much of the time in the care of his grandparents He called his memoir Too Close to the Sun He also, as his title suggests, is reflective One take away that I got from thinking about these two families is that the Churchills were much emotionally available to their children and to everyone than were the Roosevelts.Speaking of the Roosevelts, Mary liked them both very much but found Franklin, in all his charm, a bit overwhelming and finally a bit tiring Of course, she was fairly young when she met him She does tell one story that I really enjoyed On a White House visit, the Roosevelt s had a zealous guest who chided Churchill about the way the British treated the Indians Churchill asked if she was referring to the brown Indians in India who multiplied alarmingly under the benevolent British rule or the red Indians in America, who I understand are almost extinct Evidently the harassing guest was silenced but FDR was delighted and laughed uproariously.At ninety , Mary Churchill Soames is the only surviving child Although these memories end just as WW II ended and she married, apparently she has led the longest and happiest life of any of the Churchill children From others reaction to her, as told in her book, she was apparently funny, intelligent,and charming I think we saw too little of this in her book She has written a biography of her mother I m interested in learning about this elegant and fascinating woman but, if I choose to read about her, I don t think it will be Mary s book. In an age when so many memoirs by children of famous or even not famous parents are actually just tell all indictments about dysfunctional parenting and miserable childhoods and are riddled with tales of stories ofabuse and rife with accusation, this memoir is none of the above, which is thoroughly refreshing Mary Soames, nee Churchill, makes it clear from the very start of the book that she loved and respected her parents, regardless of their faults Whatever dysfunction and or disappointment there was is alluded to briefly if mentioned at all, and never dwelled on If anything, the book is perhaps a bit too saccharine, glossing over disappointments and challenges others might have dwelled on The real pay off, however, are the chapters describing the pre WWII and war years of the 30s and 40s when Soames had a front row view of history She met and knew some of the greatest actors participating in perhaps the most dramatic period of the 20th century on occasion she accompanied her father to secret meetings with the likes of Stalin and FDR she worked in what was then rare,a male female anti bomb squad where she rose to the rank of captain and simply because of her social standing she was friends with nobles and dignitaris, and even on than one occasion dined with the King and Queen.This isn t a great book, and is, in all honesty, a bit lightweightbut it offers a view into a life at the active sidelines of an extraordinary couple during an extraordinary time. Now In Her Eighty Ninth Year, Mary Soames Is The Only Surviving Child Of Winston And Clementine Churchill Younger Than Her Siblings By Several Years, She Went To Day School And Enjoyed An Idyllic Childhood Played Out In Her Very Own Garden Of Eden Chartwell Here She Roamed House And Grounds, Tended Diligently To Her Collection Of Pets, And Had Her First Glimpses Of The Glittering Social World In Which Her Parents Moved Then, In , Chamberlain S Declaration Of War Dramatically Ended This World As She And Her Family Had Known ItHereafter We Follow Mary S Life Through Her Fascinating Personal Diary, Published Here For The First Time Through The Immediacy Of Her Private Observations We Are Drawn Into A World Where The Ordinary Minutiae Of A Packed Family, Social And Romantic Life Proceed Against A Background Of Cataclysmic Events Joining The ATS And Serving In Mixed Anti Aircraft Batteries, Mary Takes On Her Own Set Of Professional Demands While Sharing The Many Anxieties And Stresses Brought To Bear Upon Her Family Through Her Father S PositionThe Mutual Love And Affection Between Mary And Her Parents Is Evident On Every Page, From Her Earliest Years At Chartwell To Winston S Defeat At The General Election, When Mary Recounts Her Own Pain And Devastation On Her Father S Behalf At This Point She Meets Her Future Husband, Christopher Soames We Are Left In No Doubt At The End Of This Charming And Revealing Memoir That, At Twenty Four, Mary Has Lived A Full Life And Is Well Prepared For Her Future As Young Wife And Mother

Mary Soames, Baroness Soames, LG, DBE, FRSL was the youngest of the five children of Winston Churchill and his wife, Clementine She was the wife of Christopher Soames.Mary Spencer Churchill was raised at Chartwell and educated at the Manor House at Limpsfield She worked for the Red Cross and the Women s Voluntary Service from 1939 to 1941, and joined the Auxiliary Territorial Service in 1941 wit

[Epub] ➟ A Daughters Tale  ➠ Mary Soames – Online-strattera-atomoxetine.info
  • Kindle Edition
  • 368 pages
  • A Daughters Tale
  • Mary Soames
  • English
  • 19 July 2018

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