9780719554575 / 0719554578

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About the book:

In confident late Edwardian Britain, one family - the Asquiths - rose to the top both in politics and society. Within a few years, however, they would come to epitomize the generations shattered by World War I. This book recounts their lives as Britain descended into turmoil, with the Asquith sons fighting in the trenches as their father, the Prime Minister, struggled to direct the bloodiest war in his country's history. The emotional nature behind the urbane public persona of Asquith himself is revealed for the first time: his heartbreak at his first wife's sudden death, his painful and tortuous courtship of the extraordinary Margot Tennant, and the ups and downs of their marriage, which remained strong despite his notorious liaisons with younger women and her volatile and moody personality. Margot's remarkable role as the most intriguing - in both senses - of primeministerial wives is fully explored: her feuds with Lloyd George, her mistrust of the gutter genius Winston Churchill, and her hatred of Lord Northcliffe, the press baron who ultimately drove her husband from power in 1916.; At the heart of the story are four of the Asquith children, Raymond, the brilliant scholar and outstanding President of the Oxford Union, who died leading his men into attack on the Somme; the shy Beb, artillery officer and poet, who overcame shell shock to face the horrors of Passchendale; Oc, whom General Freyberg - himself a VC - described as the bravest man I ever knew; and their mercurial sister Violet, her father's most ardent supporter but the bane of her jealous stepmother's life.;Drawing for the first time on Margot Asquith's own journals, Asquith's letters to her, and a mass of hitherto unpublished correspondence in family and many other archives, Colin Clifford provides an engrossing picture of a remarkable political family at a time of crisis.

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