Son and Father
Sir David Cannadine examines Winston Churchill's family life, exploring the legacy left by Churchill's childhood when he himself became a father.
Winston Churchill was revered by millions as the saviour of Britain in the Second World War, but he wasn't just a great war leader - he wrote millions of words of journalism, he painted, he built brick walls, he owned racehorses, he gambled in Monte Carlo casinos and even wrote screenplays. Yet his personality was mercurial; bouts of hyper-activity were interspersed with black days of depression. While he had a loving marriage, he spent long periods apart from his wife and children, some of whom caused him deep anxiety and distress.
To mark the fiftieth anniversary of his death, celebrated historian Sir David Cannadine, author of In Churchill's Shadow, examines the life and career of Winston Churchill by looking at ten different themes that are less well known, but which are crucial to a fuller understanding of one of the most extraordinary individuals ever to occupy No. 10 Downing Street.
Winston Churchill had an unhappy childhood. His father was distant, drunken and cold. His mother was a spendthrift who had numerous affairs. So how was he able to rise above his difficult upbringing and become the success he did? Sir David Cannadine looks at Winston Churchill's family life, exploring the legacy left by Churchill's childhood when he himself became a father.
Featuring Roger Allam as Winston Churchill.
Producer: Melissa FitzGerald
A Blakeway production for BBC Radio 4.