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Set in the glittering realm of the British Empire between the world wars, Mrs Churchill’s War is the story of a woman’s struggle for empowerment as she grapples with the conflicting claims of love and duty.

 
 
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Synopsis


An award winning screenplay

Nicholl Fellowship in Screenwriting Quarter-finalist,

Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

(Oscars®)

 

It is 1934. Clementine Churchill’s “marriage of the century” to the dynamic, eccentric Winston Churchill is in trouble. Searching for renewal, she accepts an invitation on a four-month cruise to the East Indies.

From the beginning, her luxurious voyage does not go as planned. Storms at sea, riots in Burma, the Nazi menace, and a heart-stopping romance with Terence Philip, a young, fascinating, London art dealer take her to the breaking point -- and beyond.

Clementine’s struggle with the feelings that threaten to destroy her marriage culminates in a mystical experience with an Indonesian shaman. Stalked by Komodo dragons, will she live to make her fateful choice between destiny and desire?

Historians and those who knew them generally agree, without his wife, Winston Churchill would not have been able to lead Britain to stand alone against the Nazi menace.

If Britain had succumbed, there would have been no way to win the European war -- no British bomber bases, no place to launch an assault force, no D-Day. There would have been no way to stop the Nazis.

Four months in which the fate of the world hung in the balance. The balance of love...

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The Story


 

 Clementine and Winston’s marriage in 1908 was the talk of the town. Winston, though the grandson of a Duke, being the son of a younger son, had no money of his own and urgently needed an heiress to support his political career. Against the conventions of his class and advice of his friends, he nevertheless chose Clementine; and she, who had also been urged to find a rich husband, chose Winston.  It was a match made in heaven, and for many years they were very happy

 
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A Marriage in Trouble


With all his wonderful qualities Winston was a complex personality: prone to depression, liberal in his use of alcohol, spendthrift, and very grumpy when he was out of power in the early 1930s.  Behind the scenes Clementine was keeping creditors at bay, supporting Winston emotionally, juggling overwhelming demands.  Nearing age fifty, though still beautiful and full of life, inside she was overwhelmed and needed a rest.

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Her motivation in seeking some time to herself was not to leave the marriage but to strengthen it, to recover her vitality so that she could support Winston emotionally in the difficult years they both saw lay ahead. The opportunity arose when they were both invited by their mutual friend Walter Guinness, the first Lord Moyne, heir to the Guinness fortune on an expedition to Indonesia to capture a Komodo Dragon for the London Zoo.

 

A Man Under Pressure


Winston hated cruises, and felt he needed to stay and try to get Britain to re-arm against the growing Nazi menace.  He knew Clementine needed a break. He encouraged her to go. She worried that things would fall apart without her.  And she was right. Within a few days of her departure their country house, Chartwell, nearly burned down, servants threatened to quit, creditors and political enemies closed in.

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But by then Clementine was thousands of miles away in Indonesia. Their many letters show Winston’s growing realisation of how much he depended on her, and of Clementine’s reviving spirits. 

 

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During this trip she fell romantically in love with Terence Philip, a charming art dealer seven years her junior. It was a connection that could not outlast the voyage, but it was life-changing for her. On parting, Terence gave her a pink Bali dove. When it died, she buried it in the garden at Chartwell, beneath a sundial. On the sundial’s base, she had inscribed:

 

“Here lies the Bali Dove. 

It does not do to wander too far from sober men. 

But there’s an island yonder, I think of it again.”

 
 
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