Jennie Churchill – Some Areas for a Book Club Discussion

  1. Was Jennie a bad mother? if so did she become a better mother?
    Did she only become interested in WSC when he grew more interesting? Can any parent be truly disinterested in their children’s future?
  2. Can you justify her anti-suffrage stance?
  3. What did Winston inherit from his Mother and Jerome genes or from his father and Marlborough genes? Did he at any stage exploit his American inheritance merely for political gain?
  4. Was Winston manipulative as a child?
  5. Why do you think he wrote about his mother in the way that he did as a distant mother in MY Early LIFE?
  6. Do you think Winston’s brother Jack got a raw deal because he was not demanding enough?
  7. Was Jennie extravagant, selfish and privileged or did she do the best she could with the fist History dealt her?
  8. Ethics of biography… what right does the biographer have to pry into medical records? Does patient confidentiality extend beyond the grave?
  9. Do you like Jennie more or less than you thought you would before reading this? Is the book fair to Randolph or does the biographer take a position?
  10. What would you like to know more about? And do you think Jennie developed as a character?
  11. How important was the historical background for Jennie’s story? eg The American Civil War, the Siege of Paris, the Boer War and World War 1?
  12. What if…. Jennie had lived fifty years later?

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