Two Roads has acquired the wartime diaries of Winston Churchill’s youngest daughter, Mary, following a three-way auction.
Promising "a unique, front-row view of the great events of war, as well as exchanges and intimate moments with her father", Mary Churchill’s War will be edited by Mary's daughter Emma Soames, in collaboration with the Churchill Archives Centre at Churchill College, Cambridge.
Senior editor Kate Craigie acquired UK and Commonwealth rights from Gordon Wise at Curtis Brown, after the diaries—"much of which has never been published"—recently joined the Churchill Archives Centre. The book will be published in autumn 2021.
Craigie said: "I was completely captivated by Mary’s charming and energetic voice. On the one hand here is this young woman in the most extraordinary of circumstances, privy to decisions and events that would forever change the world, but on the other, the voice that we encounter here is completely recognisable—a teenager thrilled by a new dress or by dancing with a boy she likes. It truly is a treasure trove and I’m delighted to be working with Emma and the Churchill Archives on what will be a wonderful book."
Soames said: "I am thrilled that my mother’s wartime diaries are to be published in all their teenage angst and glory. During those war years she moved from being a protected—and rather righteous—teenager to a young woman who ended up with 200 troops under her command at the age of 21. All the while she was providing love and companionship to her father whose company she chronicles in detail in these diaries. Her eye for posterity and history proved to be profound. I am truly excited to bring them to the wider audience they so richly deserve."
Two Roads will publish in hardback, e-book and audiobook in autumn 2021. Sarah Harvey at Curtis Brown is handling translation rights, and Luke Speed film/TV rights.
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