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An Extraordinary Life

Sarah Gristwood

Margaret Gaskin

National Trust


ISBN: 9781911358534

Price: £

Publication date: 2 May 2019

ISBN: 9781911657002


Price: £ 12.99

  Our price: £

Publication date: 9 July 2020

Category: Biography

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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Featuring many rarely seen photographs, one previously unpublished, this beautifully illustrated book has an incisive text by Sarah Gristwood and Margaret Gaskin. They trace 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.



Sarah Gristwood is a bestselling biographer and commentator on royal affairs. She regularly contributes to documentary series such as The Royal House of Windsor, The Windsors: Inside the Crown, The Queen Mother, and Inside… Balmoral/Windsor Castle/St Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, as well as appearing on international news channels from CNN to Sky News, and BBC World to CBC. A former film journalist, she has also authored or co-authored books on the history of royal weddings; Beatrix Potter; Winston Churchill; and Virginia Woolf and Vita Sackville-West; while her Tudor histories include, most recently, Game of Queens and The Tudors in Love.



Margaret Gaskin is a journalist, editor and historian. Previously Publications Editor for the Royal Shakespeare Company, she edited The 20th Century in Pictures and is the author of Blitz: The Story of 29th December 1940, which became the basis for the acclaimed Channel 4/PBS documentary Blitz: London’s Firestorm.