Blenheim and the Churchill Family. A personal portrait
Blenheim Palace is one of the most important buildings in Europe, and the only palace in England that is still lived in as a family home. Yet controversy and conflict seethed around the Palace from its very start, thanks to two strong-minded women: Sarah, the wilful first Duchess, who wanted a home fit for a hero, and Queen Anne, who envisaged a glorious monument to England herself and a palace to rival Versailles. As a palace and monument, Blenheim is spectacularly successful. It is one of the finest examples of English Baroque architecture, decorated and furnished to an equally lavish standard, housing works of art from all over Europe. Blenheim, which attracts around half a million visitors from all over the world each year, is one of Britain's most magnificent houses - as George III enviously remarked 'we have nothing to equal this.' But the real story of Blenheim lies with my family, who have lived in it for the past 300 years, and theirs is a story as turbulent, fascinating and momentous as the conflicts that surrounded its origins. The first book about Blenheim ever written by one of the Spencer-Churchill family, Blenheim and the Churchill Family is filled with anecdotes, gossip, and intrigue, tracing the story of a glamorous dynasty from 1700 to modern times. This is the inside story, pieced together from the family archives, showing how the personalities of each Duke and Duchess influenced the progress of the great house through the centuries.