Monday, October 15, 2018

DAY 99: Reader, She Married Him

Here's Lord Randolph Churchill, the younger son of the Duke of Marlborough, descendant of English warrior-statesmen reared in the fateful shadow of Blenheim Palace. Randolph is young in this picture--it may have been taken around the time of his engagement in 1873, when he was 24--and he's very dapper, wearing a soft cravate, fairly open collar, nosegay in his buttonhole and carefully cultivated mustache.  He was known for his prominent eyes, inherited from his mother Fanny, which some people compared to those of a Cavalier King Charles spaniel or Pekinese. Little Lord Random, as he would later be nicknamed in Parliament, was neither tall nor broad-shouldered. He was an amusing conversationalist but prone to nervous collapse. An indolent scholar at Eton and Merton College, Oxford, Randy was already thinking about a run for Parliament when he met Jennie Jerome at Cowes Week--a sailing regatta off the Isle of Wight in August.

He proposed marriage to Jennie after knowing her only three days. This is the Villa Rosetta, the cottage rented by the Jeromes in Cowes, where Randolph dined twice that week in August.

Randolph Churchill had a brilliant mind, a caustic tongue, a wicked sense of humor and a tendency to wound the people who loved him most. He also had a profound secret, earned and kept long before he met Jennie. 

For more images from THAT CHURCHILL WOMAN, visit the  Pinterest board behind the novel.

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