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A closer look at Winston Churchill's greatest influence

In the lead up to her lecture at Dulwich Picture Gallery, celebrated author Anne Sebba tells us why we should be looking again at Winston Churchill's life with fresh eyes, and why, in Churchill's case, 'mother knew best'.

"As I examined his mother's life the more I realised that hers was the vital formative influence propelling him towards political leadership, instilling in him the belief that, as a half American, he was uniquely well placed to make a compelling speech addressing both Houses of Congress to strengthen Roosevelt's resolve to bring the USA into the War. It was she who encouraged him to make speeches that can hold the attention of a room, she who acted as his personal tutor sending him constant streems of books and she who told him how hard he must work as 'for a man life means work if he means to succeed'. Without Jennie, Winston would have remained a half formed thing, more Blenheim and bluster without substance and grit. But without Winston the future is too appalling to contemplate."

A taster of what is to come in "Jennie Churchill: Ambitious Seductress, Style Icon or Winston's Pushy Mother?"