The diaries of Churchill’s youngest and only living daughter, Mary Soames, are to be published on her 89th birthday, September 15th, by Doubleday UK, and is available for shipment worldwide from Amazon UK. An e-book will also be available. American publication will be in May 2012 by Random House in New York. The Amazon UK price is £16.50 ($26.50) and airmail shipment to the USA costs about £7 ($11).
Much younger than her siblings, Mary had an idyllic youth, growing up at Chartwell, her father’s beloved Kentish home, but always in the background was his preoccupation with the growing threat of Hitler, and in 1939 the war arrived, and with it Mary’s life was dramatically altered. She served with the ATS, manning London mixed anti-aircraft batteries, and shared her father’s grief when in July 1945, with the war almost over worldwide, he was summarily relieved as Prime Minister as a result of the General Election. The publisher states:
…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….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 position. The 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 1945 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.
For several years we have heard from Lady Soames as she progressed through the writing, a prodigious task for anyone her age, yet she has always been young at heart, and possessed with her father’s determination to “finish the job.” We take great delight in knowing that her work is now done, and that she may “rest her paw” and take pride in another outstanding Churchill literary work to add to her many earlier ones.