From the Saunderson Rare Books Room: Churchill in the Garden

As the gardens and flowers here at Trinity College are in full bloom, we thought it would be appropriate if our featured special collections book this month echoed this natural theme, but also helped to promote our new exhibit, ‘Churchill’s Champion: Highlights from the Collection of P. Michael Wilson’. Naturally, we have a book that fits that bill: Churchill & Chartwell: The Untold Story of Churchill’s Houses and Gardens.

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Driven to know more about the elder statesmen than what has been presented in the countless political and wartime biographies, author Stefan Buczacki delved into the personal life of Winston Churchill to discover the stories behind the great estates he called home and the beautiful gardens he cultivated there.

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Accessing never-before-seen records from the architect of Chartwell, as well as previously sealed archival documents concerning Churchill’s farms, Buczacki presents an intimate portrait of one of Britain’s most important personalities. In the author’s own words: “…I discovered an unexpected humanity and while through his letters I certainly came to know the Churchill the world knows…I also found a gentler individual with human frailties and a measure of insecurity, an always loving – if not always caring – husband and above all, a man of total integrity. To my surprise, in the house-owning, home-making, garden-building Churchill of my study I found a bit of everyman.” (viii) Meticulously researched and filled with dozens of photographs of houses and gardens, this deep-dive into Winston’s properties and peonies is sure to be a great summer read.

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Like all our rare books and special collection items, this volume is available for consultation any time in the John W. Graham Library. For further information, please inquire at the circulation desk or contact us at ask.grahamlibrary@utoronto.ca. Also, visit our new exhibit, ‘Churchill’s Champion: Highlights from the Collection of P. Michael Wilson’, located on the library’s lower level.

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