Jennie: Lady Randolph Churchill (1974)

 

 

 

Director:    

Starring:     Lee Remick (Jennie, Lady Randolph Churchill), Barbara Parkins ( Leonie), Warren Clarke (Winston Churchill), Rachel Kempson ( Duchess of Marlborough), Ronald Pickup (Lord Randolph Churchill), Adrian Ropes ( Arthur Balfour), Julia Sutton (Gentry), Thorley Walters ( Edward, Prince of Wales), Linda Liles ( Clara Jerome), Charles Lloyd Pack ( Sir Henry Wolff), Cyril Luckham (Duke of Marlborough), Malcolm Stoddard ( Jack Churchill).

TV mini-series. 

Jennie Jerome's life with Lord Randolph Churchill; parents of Winston Churchill

 

 

Spoiler Warning:  below is a summary of the entire miniseries.

 

Episode 1.  Jennie Jerome. 

Paris 1873.  Said to be one of the most beautiful women of her time, Jennie Jerome is out riding her horse.  She stops to talk to her father Leonard Jerome who is also on horseback.  They talk about her sister Clara.  Jennie says she is getting tired of Paris and being cooped up with Cara and her mother.  She says about her mother:  "Mama doesn't know about anything."   At dinner the whole gang is there, including sister Leonie.  Jennie is quite a bit like her father.  She's a bit whimsical and rebellious.  Clara says:  "Mama and I have been trying to make her fit for decent society."  Mom and Clara are francophiles, while Jennie and dad are more americanophiles.   Jennie says Paris isn't the way it used to be now that Emperor Napoleon III is gone.  (The nephew of Napoleon I, he was elected President of the Second French Republic by popular vote in 1848, he started a coup d'état in 1851, became dictator December 1852 and ruled as Emperor until 1870 and the start of the Third French Republic.)

Dad suggests that, since his wife and Clara don't like a republic, they perhaps should go to England where there is still a monarchy.  Clara maintains that the English are very snobby toward Americans.  Jennies disagrees, saying, the English were very nice to them at Cowes (an English seaport on the Isle of Wight, south of Southampton, which is the largest city in Hampshire County on the south coast of England).  The family goes there for the summer sometimes.  After mom, Clara and Leonie leave the table, Jennie begs her father to let the family go to Cowes and for him to come along with them.  Dad laughs and says yes. 

In Cowes the swells have a big dance on a British cruiser.  The future King Edward VII of England (ruling 1901-1910) immediately notices the beautiful Jennie when she steps on board the cruiser. Another man who immediately notices her is Lord Randolph Churchill, whose parents have a country estate in Woodstock, county of Oxfordshire in s.e. England, called Blenheim Palace.  He tells his friend that he is sick of English girls because they are all "so anemic".  He is happy to try an American girl.  The future king also notices that Churchill has noticed Jennie.    

The friend introduces Randolph to Jennie.  The couple hit it off well almost from the very start.  Jennie likes the idea that Randolph likes her being American.  He tells her that her vowels, her accent and her manner are generally "delightful".  Randolph likes the fact that Jennie is interested in politics.  He has the first dance with Jennie and then won't let anyone else dance with her.  Randolph blushes a bit, but he finds her absolute frankness intriguing. The dancing is stopped for a moment when the future king of England welcomes aboard the future tsar of Russia. 

Randolph asks if Jennie rides?  She says she surely does.  Her father was the founder of the American Jockey Club.  They talk about her five year stay in France.  Jennie says she was on the last train out of Paris just before the Prussians laid siege to the city (in the Franco-Prussian War, July 1870 to May 1871).   Her father met Bismarck in the middle of the siege of Paris as he brought some peace proposals to him from the USA.  Randolph says he wishes he could have been there to see Bismarck, who he thinks is a great man.  Jennie asks Randolph if he wants to be a great man and he says, of course.  Perhaps the clincher for the couple is when Randolph says he hates dances:  "Because of the nonsense people talk.  Polite conversation is the greatest single bane of life."  He adds:  " My dear Miss Jerome, life's dreadfully short.  It's a pity to fill it with tosh." 

Jennie is amazed to find a kindred spirit.  She says that's what she always says:  "But no one in my family will ever listen."  Randolph replies:  "I will."  They start dancing again.  Randolph says he hasn't acted yet on his desire to reach the top, but he will.  He says he can have the family seat in Parliament if he wishes.  Jennie asks:  "Why don't you do something, Lord Randolph?"  He replies:  "A man has to wait for his moment . . ."

On the boat back to shore, Jennie asks her mother if she would invite Lord Randolph to dine with them tomorrow night?  Mother is willing, but she and Clara want to know more about this Mr. Churchill, who is the younger son.  Jennie tells them that he is so "energetic".  Then she says to her sister and mother that she is not about to marry the man. 

At dinner with Randolph and his friend Bertie, Jennie plays the piano exceptionally well.  Churchill compliments her on her musical skill.  He also says he is leaving the day after tomorrow and wants to know where he can meet her to talk with her before he goes?  She tells him she walks on the cliffs near Gurnard in the morning.  After Randolph and Bertie leave and mother goes to be, Jennie tells Clara:  "I think I'm going to marry him." Clara is shocked.  As Randolph and Bertie walk along, Randolph tells his friend:  "I'm going to marry her, if she'll have me."  Bertie is shocked. 

The two love birds see each other the next morning.  Jennie tells Randolph that she too is ambitious.  And like Randolph she too doesn't know which path she will follow to the top.  Jennie tells Randolph that she will get her mother to invite him again to dinner. 

At dinner Clara plays the piano.  Randolph takes Jennie outside.  He asks Jennie:  "Will you marry me?"  Immediately, she says:  "Yes."    He says he knew she would say yes and Jennie says she knew he would ask her. 

The next morning while visiting some ruins, Randolph says he would like to wed before Christmas.  Jennie says they could even get married tomorrow, if he wants.

Randolph tells her mother, who replies that he hardly knows this girl.  He has only been with her for a week.  In the room is Randolph's older brother Blandford.  He tells Randolph he should learn from his brother's mistakes:  "Marriage is best postponed for as long as possible, preferably forever."   Mother tells Blandford to be quiet and she tells Randolph that she cannot give her consent "to such a rash and foolhardy venture." 

Jennie tells her mother and mom says about the same thing as Randolph's mother told him.  She hardly knows the young man.  Clara says he has no money of his own.  Jennie keeps saying:  "I don't care."  So mother says she is cutting the vacation short and returning to Paris.  Jennie says she won't go.  A bit later she writes a letter to Randolph.  While she is doing this, she is pestered by her Leonie who wants to know all about their relationship.  But Jennie just keeps telling her to go away. 

Randolph talks to his father, who also seems opposed to the marriage.  Randolph keeps saying he can't understand the opposition to the marriage.  He says that Jennie has encouraged him to take up a position in the Parliament.  Randolph goes farther saying without Jennie's support:  ". . . I do not see myself having a career of any distinction."   Dad says the couple must wait one year to get married to prove their love for each other.  Randolph accepts the one year waiting period. 

Jennie speaks with her father and he furiously objects to the wedding.  It galls him that any Englishman could say that Jerome's daughter is not good enough for his son (even though Jennie says the Englishman never said that).  He starts to bolt out the door, but his daughter stops him to tell him in a very serious tone:  "No one's going to stop me, not even you."   

Blanford again tries to talk Randolph out of the marriage, saying look at what marriage has done to him. 

Randolph and Mr. Jerome talk.  Jennie's father says he just couldn't go against Jennie's wishes.  Jerome says that Randolph's father and he will sort it all out.  Later the two fathers meet.  Mr. Jerome wants things down the American way, while Mr. Churchill insists that when Jennie marries and Englishman she will become an English woman, so things must be done the English way.  Jennie wants Jennie to have her own money independent of Randolph, but Churchill says the husband in England keeps the wife financially dependent upon him.  Jerome finally yields to Churchill. 

The wedding will be in New York.  Randolph's parents will not be in attendance. 

The couple get married. 

 

Episode 2.Lady Randolph Churchill. 

Jennie speaks about the home of her in-laws, Blenheim, which she hates.  The dinners are very formal with everyone dressed up.  Randolph's sister Rosamond is there along with Blandford and his wife Bertha.  At a certain hour the clock chimes out and everyone marches off to bed with mother and father Churchill leading the way.  When Randolph and Jennie are alone, Jennie says she refuses to stay another night at Blenheim.  They are going back to London.  She complains that his mother is always trying to find fault with her.  "Ugh, I've never been so achingly bored in all my life."

Blanford knocks on Bertha's bedroom door and she tells him to come in.  When he does, black ink falls upon his head.  He doesn't think that's funny at all, but Bertha laughs her head off. 

The Churchills go to church.  Then the men go out pheasant hunting.  Jennie is pregnant and when she falls, Bertha yells for Randolph's assistance.  Back at home Mrs. Churchill tells Jennie she told her not to go out.  Jennies replies:  "Well, I can't stay locked indoors like a nun."  Mother-in-law tells Jennie that up until now Jennie has led a carefree life, but with privileges there are duties.  And the first duty is as the mother of Randolph's child.  Jennie says it's her child too.  Later she tells Randolph:  "It's like being a brood mare."  Her child will represent a link in the Churchill chain if something should happen to Bertha's son, Sunny.  Randolph says Bertha is not likely to have any more children.  Jennie wonders if Blandford is in love with that Edith Aylesford woman.  Randolph doesn't really know, but one thing is certain.  Bertha will remain quiet about it because if she wants to become Duchess, she will have to refrain causing a scandal.  "It would rock the whole social order."

Duchess Churchill tries to stop Jennie from going out for a ride with Bertha, reminding her of what happened last time Jennie went out.  Jennie is going regardless of the advice of the Duchess.  They take a ride in a pony cart and the ride proves to be a bumpy one.  Jennie experiences some pain and Bertha has to head straight for home. 

Randolph is very concerned because her due date is not for another two weeks, but Jennie is having the baby now.  Randolph is not allowed to see Jennie until the birth has taken place.  Hours later Winston Leonard Churchill is born.  After his baptism Jennie asks again to go back to London. 

Jennie loves parties.  She dances at a masked ball with one of her many gentlemen admirers.  The future King Edward VII is at the dance scoping out he women.  Mr. Joe Aylesford congratulates Randolph for his excellent speech in Parliament.  He tells Randolph that he is leaving his wife Edith.  He is going to India.  Blanford dances with Edith and wishes her husband was leaving for India today so they could be alone together.  The Prince of Wales laughs about the situation between Blandford and Edith.  

Jennie dances with Lord Hardwicke, who is brutally frank, telling his dance partner:  "Come to be with me, Jennie."  He is so forward that she has to tell him to take his hand off her. 

The prime minister, Benjamin Disraeli, now speaks with Jennie telling her she should be proud of her husband and tells her to get Randolph to go to more sessions of the House of Commons:  ". . . if your talented husband would only attend the House of Commons with half the assiduity he attends the racecourse, he could go very far, indeed."  The Prince of Wales interrupts them asking who is this lovely lady behind the mask?  Dizzy tells him it's Lady Randolph.  The future king dances with Jennie.  In a secluded corner, Blandford kisses Jennie. 

Jennie plays with her son Winnie until Randolph comes in.  Randolph tells her:  "We've got trouble, Jennie."   Blandford has announced he is leaving Bertha and running away with Edith.  Edith wrote as much to Joe in India and now Joe is hurrying home demanding a divorce. Blandford wants to marry Edith.  Jennie reacts:  "But nobody will ever speak to him again."  Randolph says that's why they have got to stop Blandford. 

Randolph and Blandford get into a shouting match over the Edith affair.  Randolph tells him that he and Edith will be eating alone at Blenheim, because no one will ever come to see them.   Blanford says he has something that can change the nature of the game.  He has the letters of the Prince of Wales to Edith.  Randolph reads some of the letters and is furious at the future king.  To Jennie he calls HRH (His Royal Highness) a hypocrite among other things.  He says that HRH was after Edith, but he encouraged the affair between Blandford and Edith by taking Joe with him to India.  He figured Joe would find out about his affair with Edith, so he used Blandford to carry his blame.  And then he has the nerve to call Blandford a blackguard. 

 Jennie wants Randolph to calm down, because she doesn't want HRH to be their enemy.  He could really hurt them.  Randolph tells Jennie that no he can't because he has HRH's letters to Edith.  He says the English don't kowtow to monarchs, but rather make them and break them. 

Lord Randolph goes to see, of all people, the wife of HRH.  She tells Randolph there is nothing more she can do because she has already talked to Lady Aylesford and to Blanford.  But Randolph wants more than this.  He wants her to get her husband to put more pressure on Lord Aylesford to get him to abandon this divorce idea.  Her Royal Highness says the Prince of Wales is in agreement with Randolph and has spoken to Aylesford about it, but he can't force the man to stop.  It is now that Randolph engages in a little blackmail.  He tells Her Royal Highness that certain compromising letters have come into his possession. The wife tells Randolph that she doesn't want to know anything more about the letters, gets up and starts to leave.  That's when Randolph tells her that the letters are from the Prince of Wales to Edith Aylesford.  Randolph has been to the solicitor general and he is of the opinion that if the letters ever become known publicly, her husband will never sit on the throne of England.  Also, if the divorce goes to trial, HRH will be called to testify.  Her Royal Highness very politely but firmly tells Randolph that she will talk to her husband about this matter.  Good morning. 

Mother and Clara come to visit Jennie.  Mom says that Randolph is just too impetuous.  Jennie says she will not listen to them badmouth Randolph in his own house.  (They know about the whole affair.)  

At night Jennie tells Randolph that she wants him to discuss his problems with her so they can go through these worries together.  She declares her unending devotion to him and Randolph kisses her in gratitude for her loyalty.  Jennie has told her husband about the advances of men like Lord Hardwicke and wants to tell off Hardwicke and the Prince.  Jennie begs him not to let these men know that she has told her husband and what they have said to him.  Hardwicke is coming to speak with Randolph on behalf of HRH.  Randolph says it's going to be very hard for him not to get angry at Hardwicke, so Jennie volunteers to help him.    

Jennie hides around a corner as Hardwicke comes in to talk with Randolph.  As Hardwicke starts to talk, Jennie makes her cheery appearance to say hello to the man.  After a little chit-chat Jennie leaves the men alone, but she has softened the mood.  After she's gone, Hardwicke tells Randolph that HRH is very angry because of Randolph speaking to his wife about this Edith affair and he demands an apology.  "I won't give one", says Randolph.  HRH issues to Randolph a challenge to a duel with pistols.  Randolph just laughs at the notion.  Hardwicke scolds him for this, Randolph gets very angry and shouts:  "His Royal Highness knows damned well that such a duel is impossible!  His challenge is absurd!"  When he calms down a bit, he says he will apologize to the princess.  Hardwickes says that HRH wants Randolph to apologize to him.  Randolph refuses.  He then insults HRH about the challenge to a duel:  "It's very easy for him to do that when he knows I must refuses him . . ."  Hardwicke is furious, saying:  "That is unforgivable."

A little family conference is held at Blenheim.  Mother and father are upset about the whole affair.  Mom says that eventually her son will have to give in in some manner.  And she is upset with Jennie for encouraging Randolph in his defiance and obstinacy.  Dad says that on the other hand, Randolph was right in trying to do everything he could to prevent a family disgrace involving his brother.  Blandford objects to being blamed for everything that has happened.  Mom tells him that he has hurt Randolph's political prospects.  In anger, Blandford says his brother has been in Parliament for two years and has hardly even opened his mouth.  Dad asks Blandord to leave, but Randolph tells him to sit down and be quiet for two minutes. 

Dad is worried.  They have already been hurt because HRH has said he will not go into any house or home where Randolph and Jennie have been invited.  Jennie demands that the family stand by Randolph.  Mom, offended by Jennie's remarks, says they do support Randolph.  Dad says he will go personally to speak to HRH.  Randolph says it won't do any good because he won in this affair.  Aylesford has withdrawn his demand for a divorce because Randolph went to the princess and HRH can never admit to this. 

Dad goes to see HRH anyway.  HRH is still very mad at Randolph saying the man is not a gentleman.  Dad says he can get Randolph to apologize to HRH, but the Prince of Wales says no form of apology would be acceptable because:   "It's too soon."  The Prince says he will not shun Randolph's father and mother.  Dad says he will have to unless he accepts an apology.  HRH backs down a bit and says if he receives an apologly he will consider it.    He goes on:  "I will acknowledge it, but I will not accept it. . . . That is all I'm prepared to do."  Dad leaves. 

Randolph tells Jennie that they can't live the same way anymore as they did.  Jennie says she doesn't mind. 

Disraeli comes over to speak with the Duke.  He says he won't accept his son's apology.  Dizzy compliments on the way the Duke has behaved in this affair.  And he now offers Ireland to the Duke.  He could take his son Randolph with him.  Randolph feels good about going to Ireland.  He says for the next maybe 50 years English politics are going to be all about Ireland.  He adds:  "And you know what?  I'm going to be the only Englishman who really understands them."

   

Episode 3.  Recovery.

Jennie and Randolph visit some very poor Irish living in small shacks.  Randolph says:  "Truths are always unpalatable, but that does not make them any less true.  England has years of wrong, years of crime, years of tyranny, years of oppression, years of general mismanagement to make amends for in Ireland."  He tells Jennie:  "Someone's got to speak up for these people, Jennie, or they'll speak up for themselves."  The big issue of the day in Ireland is Home Rule for the island.  Jennie urges her husband to speak out for Ireland.  Randolph says he can't because he's in disgrace and on one will really listen to him.  Jennie replies:  "But if you're right and your father is wrong, you should say so.  I don't see any point in being in disgrace if you can't say shocking things sometimes, especially if they're true."  And that's precisely what Randolph does. 

In the House of Commons Randolph gives a speech saying that there are many thing wrong in Ireland, but the government doesn't even seem willing to attend to these matters, but as long as they don't, Ireland will continue to be a big obstruction for the work of the government.   In Ireland Duchess Churchill tells Jennie that Randolph's remarks about Ireland are simply dreadful.  The Duke worries about what he is going to tell the Chief Secretary for Ireland.  And since Randolph is the Duke's secretary, he has involved the Duke and Duchess in this mess.  Jennie supports her husband by asking isn't he right?  Hasn't the government been neglecting Ireland?  Neither the Duke or Duchess likes that remark.  The Duchess says that Jennie simply must restrain the impetuousness and rashness of Randolph.  And Jennie doesn't like that remark. 

When Randolph returns he tells Jennie that the Tory party is in terrible shape and he fears the party will take a real beating in the elections coming up. 

In the House of Commons Randolph declares:  "The government's policy in Ireland is a disaster!"  He believes that all of the government's efforts in Ireland have failed.  Therefore, in the years to come the government policy will have to be one of the repression of the Irish.  Mr. Gladstone, the prime minister, gets up to speak.  He says that Randolph should be been more measured in the way he spoke of government policy in Ireland. 

At home Randolph complains about MP Sir Stafford Northcote (who he likes to call the Goat) always having "to bleat his applause" for whatever Gladstone says.  The Goat is in charge of the House of Commons.  Sir Henry Wolff says that Randolph, Balfour, Gorst and he are backbenchers (i.e., MPs who do not hold government office and therefore are not Front Bench spokespersons in the opposition).  He says their speeches can only be hugely successful if they get the backing of the Tory Party.  The four men are united in disliking Northcote, but little else.  They are anxious to start attacking the government's policies because the Tory Party does not seem to want to do it.  The four intend to engage in parliamentary obstruction to slow down Gladstone's government.  Sir Henry James, for instance, is asked to define more precisely the term "stock".  Jennie laughs at all this obstructionism, but sitting next to her in the gallery is Mrs. Gladstone and she is not amused.

At a Tory get-together, Jennies speaks with one of her admirers, Count Charles Kinsky.  Dizzy congratulates Randolph's group, but says in politics as in war there's more than skirmishing and just annoying the enemy.  But Randolph's group do not have the power and backing to do anything more than skirmish at this point.  Dizzy has to leave the party early, but before he goes he tells Jennie that in three months Randolph has cheered the whole Tory party up.  "He has gone on the attack and that has caught the imagination of the party and the country."   As Dizzy leaves, Randolph expresses his regret that the man has retired because the party seems lost in the House of Commons. 

Randolph's group is now known as the fourth party.  Arthur and she play the piano together.  When they are finished Arthur tells Jennie that he is not a member of the fourth party.  Yes, but he has a very powerful uncle, the leader of the Tory Party Lord Salisbury, who can help the fourth party.  Arthur was asked to bring his uncle so Randolph can speak to him and Arthur has done just that. 

Following the political meetings and speeches, Jennie walks arm-in-arm with Lord Salisbury.  Her mother-in-law is with them and she criticizes Randolph and Jennie because some of the rash things Randolph has been saying.  It seems like Lord Salisbury wants to please the beautiful Jennie and helps soften the blows landing on Jennie.

At home Jennie asks her husband why does his mother hate her so?  Randolph says his mother is jealous of her beauty and of the fact that he (Randolph) loves Jennie very much.  Randolph doesn't look well , coughing  as if he had a cold.  He tells Jennie that today he thought at one time that he was going to faint.  Jennie tells Randolph that Arthur told her to help get Randolph to steady down.  Randolph says not only will he not steady down, but he will be increasing his pace.  He says he is "going to the people".  He almost faints.  Jennie tells him he should go on a vacation, but Randolph says what he's got to to is prove that he can go and gets votes in Manchester, Oldham and Hull. 

Out in the countryside of Wimbledon, Jennie is outdoors painting a portrait of her sister Leonie.  Henry Wolff stops by for a visit.  He asks about Randolph's health and Jennie tells him that the doctors don't know what's wrong with him.  Randolph shouts out to Wolff to come and see him.  Jennie scolds Randolph saying that he should be in bed.  Jennie's next visitor is Count Kinsky and she is very happy to see him. 

Wolff tells Randolph that things are not going so well for the Tory Party.  Randolph what can one expect when there are two bosses of the party:  Salisbury and the Goat.  Wolff says they need Randolph to help lead the way in the House of Commons. 

Kinsky talks with Jennie.  He tells her the Prince of Wales was asking after her the other day. 

Back home people notice that Randolph is feeling much better because he is rushing around involved in political intrigues.  Randolph is preparing a nasty criticism of the Goat.  He slays he won't serve in the House of Commons unless Northcote goes to the House of Lords.  He lets Jennie go alone to a party. 

HRH is thinking of relaxing the ban against Randolph.  After all, it has been eight years.  And he says this must have been hard on Randolph's pretty American wife.  He wants Sir Henry James to arrange a dinner for him with the Churchills. 

Randolph's father dies.  Jennie and Randolph tell Duchess Churchill that HRH was very kind to them and charming too.  Randolph has even better news.  Lord Salisbury has offered him India and Secretary of State if the Tories get back in office.  The bad news is that Randolph will go to India and Jennie can't come.  He says they are low on money and Randolph has to buy his own way to India.  Mother-in-law says that a bit more economizing from Jennie is called for. She even offers Jennie the opportunity to stay at Blenheim with her while Randolph is in India. 

When Jennie and Randolph are alone, Jennie insists that she's not going to live at Blenheim with his mother.  She is also mad at being left behind and tells Randolph he not to do this again to her. 

Winston is a small boy now, but talks like he is an adult trapped in a child's body. He got into a fight at school.  Jennie says she wonders what to do about Winston.  They had to take the boy out of his first school, because he received too many beatings from the headmaster.  Jennie is going out to see a play with Charles Kinsky. 

Randolph is back from India and Winston is grilling him with question after question about India and Indians.  Mother has to tell him to scoot, so she has some time to talk to her husband.  Jennie is looking for a couple of weeks alone with her husband, but Randolph says there's push on to try to bring down Gladstone's government.  Jennie is disappointed. 

Henry Wolff comes to Jennie shouting that they have don it!   Jennie congratulates Randolph on ousting Gladstone.  Arthur tells Randolph that Uncle Salisbury wants to speak to him, but Randolph says the uncle knows he will not serve in the House of Commons unless Northcote is transferred to the House of Lords.  Randolph also says he is at the end of his tether.  He asks Jennie if she will campaign for him in the by-election.  Jennie likes the idea. 

Jennie is driven in an open coach stopping to talk with every male adult she comes across.  Her beauty mesmerizes many of the men and they respond positively to Jennie.  This really helps her husband a great deal.  When the election is won, Jennie on the second floor of campaign headquarters thanks all the gathered male who voted for her husband.   The men clap and give her a round of cheers. 

 

Episode 4.  Triumph and Tragedy.

Randolph goes on the attack against Mr. Gladstone on the Irish Home Rule Bill. Jennie goes to see Charles Kinsky telling him that Randolph has brought down the government again.  Gladstone will have to go to the country and he will be utterly trounced.  And Randolph will all but be the prime minister.  She can only stay for a little while.  Jennie says she wish he would not go away so often for she needs him.  She has to hurry away because Randolph will be waiting. 

At home Randolph mentions to Jennie that it's hard for him to get to see her these days.  He says their lives just not coincide as much as they used to.  Randolph also says he is not going to campaign much.  Instead he has been invited by a friend to go on a trip to Norway and its fjords.  If Salisbury protests, Randolph tells him to say it is doctor's orders.  Now he says he better get to bed, but instead falls down once again. 

Randolph gets back and looks terrible.  He says that Salisbury is making him Chancellor of the Exchequer and Leader of the House of Commons.  Jennie is very pleased and Randolph shouts at her:  "Well, I'm glad you're pleased, because it's all you're getting.  Good night!"  He thrusts the door closed in Jennie's face.  Jennie wants to know what is the matter, but Randolph just throws his glass at the door.  He says to himself:  "Bitches!  All of them bitches."

Jennie tells Leonie that all the while she has been flirting with Charles Kinsky, Randolph has been going with another woman.  She says Randolph won't even speak to her.  Leonie asks Jennie if she is sure Randolph has not heard anything about her relationship with Charles?  Jennie swears to her sister that there has been no sexual relations between her and Charles.  Leonie now suggests that Jennie go speak to the Duchess for she might know something that Jennie doesn't.  Jennie refuses to see the Duchess.  Leonie says Jennie is running two men at the same time and Jennie tells her not to criticize her, but give her some help.  So Leonie suggests she go talk to Randolph himself. 

Jennie tries to talk to Randolph but he just tells her to go away.  She asks him what's going on, but all he says is for her to get out and leave him alone.  When she still stays he becomes out of control, screaming repeatedly:  "Get out!"

Jennie does go to the Duchess.  She tells the Duchess it's another woman.  The Duchess does not know anything more than what Jennie knows.  She does, however, advise Jennie to keep her problems to herself.  She also says that Jennie should give up that fast crowd she runs with "for life can't be all pleasure, racing, flirting, gossiping." She must commit herself to winning Randolph back.  Randolph is so close to being the next prime minister that Jennie can't afford to run with the fast set.  The Duchess actually becomes quite loving to Jennie as she says she loves her and wants to see her happy. 

The Duchess does talk to Randolph.  Randolph tells her the his colleagues will not go for the budget he will propose.  He is cutting taxes, but to do so he his cutting expenditures in the War Department and his opponents want more money for that department, not less.  Mother begs her son not to attack his own colleagues.  She asks her son about Jennie, but doesn't get much useful information about his wife. 

Jennie is with Charles Kinsky again.  She may be concerned with her relationship with Randolph, but Charles just wants to run from Randolph to him.  He suggests that Randolph may not love her anymore, but Jennie says she know Randolph still loves her.  He says and asks:  "You couldn't go on running both of us forever. . . .  Why not let Randolph go?"  Her answer is:  "Because he's mine and I never give up on anything that's mine."

The Tory Party refuses to accept Randolph's suggested cuts in the War Department.  So he has chosen to gable.  He will resign his cabinet position.  If Salisbury refuses to accept his resignation, his budget will be accepted.  And if Salisbury accepts his resignation, the government will fall.  Henry Wolff asks Randolph what if Salisbury can do without him?  Randolph answers:  "Then I'm ruined."

He tells Jennie nothing about his plans.  She reads in the newspaper one morning that Lord Randolph Churchill resigns.  She confronts her husband with the news and all he says is:  "Quite a surprise for you."  The Duchess cries about the resignation of her son.  Jennie tells Randolph that an American journalist wants to know if their marriage has broken up?  She says she would like to know the answer herself.  All Randolph says is that he will take care of it. He does tell her that his little ploy didn't work.  He was sure that the government could not go on without him, but he was badly mistaken.  Jennie points out that Randolph has not been very kind to her lately.  She asks him what is the reason for the change?  He says he doesn't think he can tell her.  He finally blurts out:  "I may not have very long to live."  He says he has syphilis.  (Later historians doubt that Randolph ever had syphilis.)  Jennie hugs her husband and he cries while hugging her.

In the evening Jennie is lounging on a sofa with Charles.  She says that in the end she came easily to him.  They hug and kiss.

A now bald papa speaks with his son Winston.  Winston has set up a battle arrangement with his toy soldiers.  His father asks him if he would like to go into the military and Winston says yes.  So dad says they will have to see about getting Winston into the military academy at Sandhurst. 

Randolph speaks with Jennie.  He tells her he is going to South Africa because that's where things seem to be happening now.  Jennie tries to cheer him up.  He says to her:  "You're awfully good to me, Jennie." 

As Randolph is gone to South Africa, Kinsky spends quite a bit of time with Jennie's boys these days.  Freddy, another admirer of Jenny, comes to visit.  Kinsky doesn't like it and Charles confronts her about it.  He says she flirts with everyman who comes to the house and that she is faithless.   Jennie acts very indifferent to Charles and he is about to give up on her and leave, but now she tries to be sweeter to him.  She says she will ask Freddy not to visit her anymore.  But she does tell Charles that Randolph was never as jealous as he is, even about him (Charles).  Charles says maybe Randolph should have been jealous. 

Randolph has returned from South Africa and Jennie says his health is much worse.  And the family has no real money.  She tells Leonie that she is frightened of the future being all alone.  About Randolph, who hasn't long to live, Jennie says:  "Poor Randolph."  Leonie says to her:  "Poor Jennie."

Randolph is furious with Winston for just being able to scrape into Sandhurst on his third attempt.  He says it's a "slovenly performance, Winston."  Winston tells her father that he is very sorry, but he honestly did do his best.  Randolph becomes really furious when he learns that Winston has dropped his brand new watch and it's at the "menders".  He is so mad he has trouble getting his words out:  "Winston!  If you don't look out, you'll be nothing but a . . . a . .. a... a social wastrel!"

Jennie talks to Winston.  She tells him that father is very seriously ill.  Jennie cheers him up by saying that dad is just very unhappy and talks harshly to everyone, even to her.  She asks that in the future Winnie come speak to her rather than to his father.  Jennies adds that the family is very badly off.  They have to sell their house.  They will move into Blenheim.  Winston says:  "Oh, no.  Things must be bad." 

In the House of Commons, Randolph slurs his speeches.  It is very difficult for him to get out his sentences.  His performance is so bad that it embarrasses the other members and he becomes an object of pity.  Quite a few MPs walk out on his speeches.  Arthur asks Jennie to try to keep her husband away from the House of Commons.  Jennie says she and the Duchess have tried, but it has been of no use.  Arthur quotes Rosebery that her husband is "dying by inches in public."  Arthur suggests that she persuade Randolph to take an around the world trip. 

Jennie tells Charles that she will accompany her husband on an around the world tour until he dies.  She adds that it will be "absolute purgatory" for her.  Charles is very angry with Jennie for sneaking around with Freddy while he was going around the world.  Jennie says she now wishes she had not gone with Charles for he lied to her, especially about Charles.  Charles can't believe or trust her.  Jennie tells him that she loves him.  She even says when all this horror is over, she wants Charles to ask her to marry him.  He asks her not to go with Randolph, but Jennie knows that no one would respect her if she made Randolph take the trip all alone. Charles says she must stay.  Jennie says:  "Oh, God, if only I could."

In Rangoon Randolph becomes very ill.  The doctor tells Jennie that it's the beginning of the end and she should go home at once. 

The Duchess tells Winston that in the paper it says that Count Kinsky will marry Countess Metternich zur Gracht.  Back in England Jennie tells Leonie that they must stop the wedding, which will take place in two weeks.   Jennie says that Randolph will probably be dead by then.  She suddenly realizes that it is too late for her and Charles.  And she admits that it is all her own fault. 

The family gathers around Randolph's death bed.  He gradually stops breathing and dies.  The duchess is the only one who cries. 

Winston tells his mother that he is sorry about Count Kinsky and she thanks him for that.  She asks Winston if it would be alright for her to go to Paris and attend parties.  Winston says:  "Why not?" and his mother replies:  "You know, Winnie, I think you might turn out to be quite nice after all."

 

Episode 5.  A Perfect Darling.

The Prince of Wales congratulates Jennie's son Winnie on his first-class job on his book on India.  He says the boy can write.  Winnie is in the army and on his way from South Africa to the Sudan .  The Princes of Wales tells Jennie that if Winnie really wants fame and fortune, he should stay in South Africa because Britain is "bound to have a showdown with the Boers (i.e., the descendants of the Dutch settlers of South Africa).  Alone with Lord Curzon, Jennie tells him with her two grown sons out and about, sometimes she feels lonely.   Lord Curzon tells her now she can go to as many parties and balls as she wants,  or go on weekends like this one with the Prince's mistress Daisy Brooke.    Jennie, however, wants a great deal more than that. 

Lady Warwick greets George Cornwallis-West who has just arrived.  She introduces him to Jennie.  George and Jennie go rowing.  Jennie asks George what should she do with her life?  She wants "to be doing things . . . ."    She says she wants to start a new magazine.  As they talk. George tells her:  "You are the most beautiful woman I've ever met in my life."

Winston is home and he likes the idea of her starting a magazine.  His brother Jack is also there.  They start talking about their family finances and Jack is amazed when he learns that his mother is 14,000 pounds in debt.  Winston says that mother might marry again, but Jennie objects:  "I shan't marry."  Winston says he is late for his dinner with Lady Jeune, who has told Winston that she has some influence with Gen. Kitchener and may get Winston a better position.  Winston leaves.  Jack and Jennie still talk about their poor financial position.  She says someone in the family has got to earn some money.  Just then George shows up, much to Jennie's surprise. 

George and Jennie are out on a small boat again.  He is really enchanted by Jennie.  George speaks of marriage, but Jennie thinks the subject is silly.  She does say that she loves George very much, but the idea of marriage is ridiculous. 

The Prince of Wales tells Jennie that marriage to George would be very difficult for her.  He says people will laugh at her for marrying someone the age of her boy Winston.  Her friends are already wondering what she talks about with a fellow so much younger than herself.  The Prince says that George is not very bright, but Jennie says she has her The Anglo-Saxon Review to keep her intellectually stimulated. 

Winston has made all the arrangement for his mother's magazine with a publisher.  He has even got her an editor, Mrs. Craigie.  Then he's off to the Sudan.  Leonie is there and wonders how far they have gotten on the first issue of the review.  they have poems by Hardy and Swinburne and a story by Henry James to come.  Leonie mentions that the title of the magazine my offend the Irish.  This worries Jennie because George's mother Patsy is Irish. 

Jennie is invited to the home of Patsy and her husband Col. West.  The Prince of Wales is there too.  Col. West tells him that he and Patsy only hope that the relationship of their son with Jennie will quickly burn itself out.  The Prince of Wales suggests that the Colonel send his son to see a little bit of war in South Africa.  He says he will even speak to Lord Methuen about it. 

Jack is amazed to find out that Winston has resigned his commission, say that Winston is going to miss the war.  Winston says he can always be a war correspondent in South Africa.  He then changes the subject to George, saying that he can't have a stepfather who is "only a fortnight older than me."  Winston is afraid it will making him a laughing stock.  And he's afraid that when he stands for election from Oldham, his mother as a vote getter will be useless because everyone will snickering at them. 

Winston does take his mother with him on the election campaign.  Winston doesn't win and mother is very disappointed.  George does his best to cheer her up.  Jennie says that Winston is always rushing.  He is off to South Africa as a war correspondent.  George too is going to South Africa.  He says when he gets back he wants to marry Jennie and won't take no for an answer.  Jennie hints that she might well marry George, but tells him she'll tell him when he gets back. 

Leonie congratulates Jennie on her first issue of the magazine, but Jennie complains that she still feels her life is rather empty.  So Jennies tells her sister she is going to do something for the war effort.  She organizes some society women to help her raise money for the war.  She is going to establish a hospital ship that will head for South Africa.  Jennie is going to play some concerts to raise money and she asks Mrs. Craigie to play with her.  It would make Jennie feel more comfortable on stage. 

In the newspaper the headline is of a fight with the Boers near Colenso.  Winston is wounded and taken prisoner.  Jack checks on the situation and discovers that Winston was not hurt in the ambush.  And he was caught while trying to escape.  Jennie is so relieved, but not for long because Jack says by the middle of next year he will be going to South Africa with the yeomanry. 

The Queen sends a British flag to Jennie, but America's President McKinley refuses saying his motives would be misconstrued.  Jennie is thinking of coming with the ship to South Africa.  She says she is need to keep the peace between the British and the American nurses. 

What the hospital ship needs is a rule book, so Jennie is sent "to fascinate" some man.  She talks with the Major in charge of the army field hospitals.  Jennie charms the man and says unofficially he will work with her an army hospital rule book, she and her nurses can use.  Not satisfied just with the rule boo, Jennie puts some political pressure on the Major for orderlies and he gives her some St. John's ambulance men.  She is set to sail in 10 days, on Christmas Eve.

Jennie gets a telephone call telling her Winston has escaped.  She is so happy. 

Just as Jennie sets off for Cape Town, George sets off for England, a victim of sunstroke.  This upsets Jennie a great deal.  She asks Leonie to explain to George that she just had to go with the hospital ship, but she will be back as soon as she's able and that she loves George and will write.  She cries and hugs Leonie and tells her to look after George for her. 

George lets Leonie know that he feels that Jennie deliberately ignored what he wanted her to do and went to South Africa anyway.  Leonie tries to assure him that Jennie didn't want to go, but she absolutely had to go after she had made such a commitment to the hospital ship idea.  George says that Jennie doesn't really love him.  Leonie tells him that Jennie is very much in love with him.  George asks:  "Well, then, why isn't she here?"

In Cape Town Jennie is informed that the hospital ship will be filled up with wounded and sick men and sent immediately back to England.  The officer is somewhat insulting to Jennie, saying there is no room for amateurs in the war.  She really gets mad and does a good job standing up for herself and her ship.  The officer tells her she will have to speak with General Buller.  The fellow leaves and a little later Jack comes into the room shocking Jennie.  He tells his mother that Winston got him transferred to the African Light Cavalry.  He left only a few days after Jennie left England.  Mom gives her son a big hug.  Jack asks her if he could get a lift with her to Durban.  So, Jennie puts Jack to work immediately taken down telegram messages for her until they get to Durban.

Jennie is together with her two sons.  They criticize George for forgetting to fill up his water canteen.  Jennie scolds the boys saying she wants no unspoken thoughts expressed or any black moods or mutterings from her sons about George.  She tells the boys that she may decide to stay in England and marry George.  Jennie tells her non-enthusiastic sons that what they don't realize is that she "may lose my last chance of happiness if I don/t marry him."  The sons did not know her happiness was at stake and now say "of course" she should marry George.  Jennie is very relieved to hear some support from her boys.  She says they will toast to themselves and to the front where they are all going.  The boys are absolutely astounded that their mother is going to the front. 

Jennie is back from the front and checking on the progress of the hospital.  She is a big hit with the wounded and she tells them that some sailors have named a gun after her.  Just then Jack comes in.  He has been wounded and is a patient on the ship.  She hugs her son.  Later Jack tells her he has the worst luck.  He got wounded on his first day of action. 

The Prince of Wales talks to George.  George won't be going back to South Africa.  He suffers from angina.  The Prince says that was a terrific thing Jennie did.  He admires her and her reputation has never stood higher.  The Prince of Wales also says he hope neither George nor Jennie will do anything to tarnish that hard-gained reputation. 

Jennie is returning to England.  Winston will follow in two weeks to be in England for the election.  She says good-bye to Jack.  Jack says he doesn't think George is up to her level, but she says:  "I need somebody who needs me."  And George does need her. 

Wedding Bells ring for the newly wed couple.  None of the West family showed up for the wedding.  George pays off most of Jennie's debts, but she still has quite a few left.  They are on their honeymoon, but Jennie still tells him she has to go to Oldham to help Winston win the election.  George is really disappointed and tells his wife not to stay away too long.  Jennies leaves and Winston wins, because he is now making a speech in Parliament.  Jennie is present to hear her son speak and she has to use her handkerchief to blot her tears. 

Wolff and Balfour congratulate Jennie on her son's very good speech in Parliament.  Winston and Jack are both with her and Jennie almost starts crying again.  She feels like she has lost Winston as a son, because he is doing well financially and he is always busy politicking.  She consoles herself that she still has Jack and George.  Leonie tells Jack that Jennie has lost one son (Winston), but gained another (George). 

 

 

Episode 6.  His Borrowed Plumes.

Outside George looks through the window to speak to Jennie.  He asks her if she wants to go with him on a car ride.  Jennie tells him that she has to finish the chapter she is working on for her memoirs.  So Georges walks around outside to see if Winston is available.  Winston pulls up the rope ladder so George cannot climb up to a platform in a tree where Winston works on his writing.  When George calls out to see if Winston is up there, Winston stays absolutely quiet.  So now George asks his brother Jack and Goonie, a girl with Winston, if they would like to come along.  They both say no.  Poor George has to settle for taking his Labrador retriever named Bess for a spin. 

While George in gone, Winston talks to his mother about her writing.  He tells her the chapter on politics is simply dreadful and suggests that she should get her facts right.  She asks him for his help on the facts. Jennie says that financial difficulties has forced her to write in order to earn some money.  She tells Winston she is thinking of writing a play in order to get some financial help.  George can't help because he firm barely made a profit this year.  The situation is so dire that Jennie says George and her will rent the estate out for awhile, while they stay at the Ritz.  Winston doesn't like this idea, asking his mother where shall he and Jack go on weekends then?  Winston, unlike the prudes and puritans, very much likes the theater.  He even proposed to the actress Ethel Barrymore (but she turned him down). Mom says that Winston is already 33 years old and must settle down and get married.  A politician, she says, needs to be married"  "People don't trust bachelors." 

At dinner George brags to the family that it only took him to go the 10 miles from here in Barnet to St. Albans in 22 and a 1/4 minutes.  He also says that the most embarrassing moment of his life was going into the club when Winston deserted the Tory party for the Liberal party.  Goonie points out that because of his change of party, Winston got a position at the Colonial Office. 

At bed time George tells Jennie that he is just cut out to make his money in the city.  He hates telephoning his friends to try to get them to buy some shares of his business.  He goes on to complain about many other things until Jennie tells him that he complains too much.

The next morning, Winston wants to know where Goonie is.  Georges takes Winston on a drive into London.  They pass by Jack and Goonie sitting and talking on the lawn.  Later Jack and Goonie break the news to Jennie that they are going to get married.  Jennie is surprised because she thought Goonie was with Winston. 

George tells Jennie that his doctor told him that he is very run down and has suggested he go to the St. Moritz in Switzerland.  He will go alone, because they can't afford for the both of them to go abroad.  Jennie's sister Leonie tells her that she should be worried about her husband being alone for three or four weeks.  She has heard from Daisy that George has been flirting with lots of women.  Jennie says George can flirt all he wants as long as he keeps coming back to her. 

Winston and Jack tease George about his bloody nose and his strange way of talking with his nose stopped up.  Back from Switzerland the doctors operated on George to take out his adenoids.  Winston tells the family that Asquith has offered him a cabinet position on the Board of Trade. 

Jennie tells Winston that she cannot campaign for his election to office this time because of George's health.  Winston says he can make do without her.  Jennie tells her son that she is going to find him a suitable wife.  She has asked Blanche Hozier and Clementine.  The daughter Clementine has to give French lessons to make ends meet.  Jennie tells Winston that if he does come to the gathering, he wants her eldest son to be very nice to Blanche and Clementine.  At the gathering, Winston  goes for a walk with Clementine. 

On another day, Winston tells Jack to come up to the tree platform with him.  Winston asks his brother what he thought of Clementine.  Jack says he couldn't ask for a better sister-in-law.  This pleases Winston, but he says he barely knows Clementine yet.  The guys are interrupted by George asking them to go for a ride with him.  Winston starts spending more time with Clementine and they get married.  Leonie tells her sister that she will be lonely with both boys gone.  Jennie is not worried, because she still has George.  And, even better, George met the famous actress Mrs. Patrick Campbell and she has agreed  to read Jennie's play.  What's more she has already decided to do the play.

George and Jennie are with Mrs. Campbell as they discuss the play.  The actress tells Jennie that the comedy is a "very rich play".  The name of the play is:  "His Borrowed Plumes."  Mrs. Sftella Campbell is thrilled to learn that George will be Jennie's business agent.  She says she wishes she had a husband.  She informs the couple that she wants her daughter to be in the play also.  George starts flirting with Stella saying thinks like:  "I have been an admirer of yours ever since I saw you in "The Second Mrs. Tangueray".  Jennie is made to feel a bit uncomfortable. 

George takes Stella out for a drive and a picnic.  Jennie shows up at rehearsal.  Mrs. Pat has not yet arrived, making the other actors wait.  George tells Stella that he and Jennie have been married for nine years and he is a bit tired of it as they don't get along as well as they used to.  Jennie is brought some tea to drink as she waits for Mrs. Pat.  Stella puts her hand on George's knee as they sit under a tree. 

On performance night, Jennie arrives home to see George all dressed up formally.  He is so pre-occupied that he doesn't even look at the coach carrying Jennie that is right in front of him.  He starts walking down the street. 

The play is performed and gets a lot of applause.  The audience even demands that the author comes out to take a bow.  Now they go to an opening day party given by Jennie.  Jennie watches as George brings flowers to Stella.  He makes a big fuss over Stella, but doesn't seem to think anything about Jennie.  Jack and Winston congratulate their mother.  George and Stella embarrass Jennie by practicing the art of kissing performed on the stage.   Winston and Jack seem disgusted with George. 

Jennie tells Leonie that George has left their home and is now talking about his wanting children.  Outside Winston and Jack talk about how George is such a cad.  George tells Jennie about his leaving.  He suddenly talks about his duty as a son and an heir.  Jennie scoffs at the idea that once George ridiculed.  George tells Jennie that while she always thought of George as a child, it's nice to be treated like a man by another woman.  Jennie asks him if he wants a divorce and George says yes.  Childish George wants to leave her without her "spoiling" the ending by being mad at him. 

 

Episode 7.  A Past and a Future.

World War I is going on.  Jennie hands out refreshments to British troops waiting for their trains to move out.  Leonie is with her.  Her husband Norman was killed on the battlefield.

A friend of Winston's, former Prime Minister Arthur Balfour, is going to succeed Winston at his post as First Lord of the Admiralty.  Jennie comes in to see Winston and Arthur.  She learns Asquith has thrown Winston a mere bone.  He is the new Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. Arthur tells Jennie that Winston is still in the Cabinet and on the War Council.  Winston is great disappointed.  He said he wanted to be in charge of a military department.  Jennie thinks about this setback as it compares to her husband's resignation from the cabinet.  After Winston leaves the office, Arthur tells Jennie that the two situations are completely different.  Jennie reveals her dream of living at Number 10 Downing Street, but it was not to me.  Then she comforted herself by saying that Winston will be prime minister one day.  Arthur assures her that Winston is still a young man and he will make a comeback in politics. 

Jennie walks home and on the way runs into Count Kinsky's butler.  The Count still has his London flat and the butler is anxious for the war to be over and the Count to be back in his London residence.  The butler tells Jennie that the Count is fighting on the Western front.  Jennie asks the butler to write and tell the Count that she is well and she hopes the Count is too. 

Jennie plays the piano in a production to raise money for the troops.  She bemoans that her contribution to this war effort is nothing compared to the hospital ship she managed in South Africa.  Clemmie tells Goonie that Winston has had enough and is going to resign.  He will be going to the front. 

Jennie doesn't like Winston going to war and gives him some advice to be careful because there is life after the war.  Winston tells her:  "You still believe in my star."   Jennie says she certainly does. 

Jennie is feeling old, ignore and lonely.  She complains to her sister and Leonie says that Jennie always tells her that she is no good without a man.  Jennie did meet a young man when she traveled to Rome and they went to see all the tourist sites together.  He works in Nigeria and asked her to write to him. 

The maid tells Jennie that a Mr. Porch has come to see her.  It's the fellow she met in Rome.  He has prematurely white hair.  Jennie wrote to him and Montie says it is the loveliest letter he has ever received.  Jennie says she is very pleased to see him.  They seem to get along very well with each other. 

Jennie goes to the theater and her daughters-in-law are puzzled because she hasn't gone to the theater in quite some time because, she says, she has no one to go with.  Now the two women are wondering who the new man is in Jennie's life. 

Jennie says good-bye to Montie at the train station.  He tells her he will soon be back in London. 

Jennie's residence has been robbed.  Leonie expresses her condolences.  Jennie tells her that she has taken Leonie's advice and has got a new man (Montie).  He is even younger than her previous husband, George. 

Montie speaks with Winston about the wedding coming up.  Winston promises to be at the wedding. 

Montie and Jennie marry.  Jennie throws a party featuring a new dance, the Boston Trot.  She shows her sister how to dance the new steps. 

Jennie takes an airplane ride with a pilot who can do tricks in the air.  She requests the loop the loop move and the pilot obliges her. 

Sister Clara arrives to tell Jennie and Leonie that her darling Clare has run off to Moscow.  She is going to sculpt bus of both Lenin and Trotsky.  Clara is afraid that when people find out about this, no one will speak to her and her family again. 

When Clare returns to London, Jennie speaks with her.  Jennie tells Clare that Winston will probably never speak to her again.  Clare shows Jennie the sable shawl she got in Russia.  Jennie likes the shawl.  Jennie says that notoriety is not the same as fame. 

Jennie is going to Italy, while Montie goes to Nigeria.   At night she is in a rush getting ready because she is late.  She rushes down the stairs, but falls partway down the stairs.  She sprains her ankle.  Gangrene sets in and the doctor has to amputate the infected leg.  Leonie, Clemmie and Goonie sit with Jennie.  Jennie tells the women that her one regret is that she will not see Winston become prime minister. 

A nurse comes into Jennie's room in the morning.  She checks on the amputated leg and is horrified by what she sees.  She goes for the doctor. 

Jennie is on her death bed.  Jack says to Winston:  "She looks so young" and Winston replies:  "She was always young."

 

 

Patrick Louis Cooney, Ph. D. 


Historical Background:

 

1849 (Feb. 3) – Randolph is born at Blenheim Palace, near Woodstock, Oxfordshire, England.

1854 (January 9)   --   Jennie Jerome is born in Rochester, New York, USA.  Her father was financier Leonard Jerome.  He bought the Bathgate Estate, on the outer western edge of Old Fordham Village, now in the Bronx, N.Y. and built the Jerome Park Racetrack on the property.  She has two sisters, Clarita and Leonie.

He receives a private education.

Attends Tabor's Preparatory School at Cheam, London.

1863 (January) - 1865 (July) – at age 13 Randolph goes to Eton College. He is seen as a vivacious, but unruly boy.

1867 (Oct.) – attends Merton College, Oxford.

1870 – Randolph gets a second-class degree in jurisprudence and modern history.

1874 – is elected to Parliament as a Conservative member for Woodstock, Oxfordshire.

1874 (April 15) – Lord Randolph Churchill marries Jennie Jerome, daughter of Leonard Jerome, of New York, USA. Her social contacts and her extramarital romantic relationships helped advance her husband’s early career.

1874 – birth of future famous politician Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill, eight months after the marriage.  (Winston worshipped his mother. From school he would write her letters begging her to visit him. She rarely did. Later in life they became friends and she was like a sister and mentor to him.)

1874 – before the dissolution of the 1874 parliament, Randolph’s He vituperative attacks on Sir Stafford Northcote, R. A. Cross, and others of the "old gang" made him a parliamentary figure of some importance.

By 1878 – Randolph becomes known as a new type of independent Conservative.

1880-1885 – Randolph plays a conspicuous role in the parliament of 1880 to 1885.

1880 – birth of John Strange Churchill.  Jennie's sisters believe the boy’s father is Evelyn "Star" Boscawen, 7th Viscount Falmouth. Lady Randolph has numerous lovers during her marriage, including Karl Kinsky and King Edward VII.

1880 – in the new parliament Randolph, along with Sir Henry Drummond-Wolff, Sir John Gorst and occasionally Arthur Balfour, became known an audacious opponent of the Liberal administration and an unsparing critic of the Conservative front bench. The group became known as the "fourth party" and helped shake the opposition out of its apathy.

Churchill leads the resistance to Charles Bradlaugh, an atheist or agnostic, ready to take the parliamentary oath. The fourth party led Sir Stafford Northcote, the Conservative leader in the Lower House, to take a strong line against Bradlaugh.

Churchill targets William Ewart Gladston and the Conservative front bench. He attacks Sir Richard Cross and William Henry Smith.

Randolph opposes the government’s suppression of Urabi Pasha's rebellion in Egypt. He also says the restoration of the khedive's authority is a crime. He criticizes Gladstone for the blood letting in .

Randolph becomes a big critic of Gladstone’s domestic policy. He bitterly criticizes Kilmainham Treaty (between Gladstone and Irish nationalist leader Charles Stewart Parnell granting abatement for tenant rent-arrears from the Government at the height of the Irish Land War.

1884  --  Churchill leads the criticism of Gladstone's Franchise Bill of 1884.

1884 – at the conference of the Central Union of Conservative Associations, Lord Randolph is nominated chairman, marking a victory of progressive Toryism. A split in the Tory party is avoided when Lord Randolph voluntarily resigns.

By 1885 – Churchill has formulated the policy of progressive Conservatism (aka, "Tory Democracy"). His position is that Conservatives should support popular reforms and give the Liberals a run for the claim to be the champions of the masses.

1885  --  fall of the Liberal government.

1885  --  Conservative government formed.  In Lord Salisbury's cabinet, Churchill is made Secretary of State for India.  He directs the Viceroy, Lord Dufferin, to invade Upper Burma.

1886 (Jan. 1) – Churchill annexes the final remnant of the Burmese kingdom, making it a province of the Indian Raj as a present for Queen Victoria on New Year's Day.

After the Election of 1886 – the second Salisbury administration forms and Churchill becomes Chancellor of the Exchequer and Leader of the House of Commons.

1886 (December) – Churchill suddenly resigns from the leadership of the House. largely because of friction with his colleagues, some of whom he greatly criticized.  He thinks he will be reinstated in his position after a period of sorting things out, but this does not happen.  His career as a big man in the Conservative party ends. 

throughout the 1890s  --  Churchill's health is bad. 

1891 – Churchill goes to South Africa for his health. Out of his travels there he writes a column that later become the book Men, Mines and Animals in South Africa.

He attacks Gladstone's Second Home Rule Bill gives pro-Union speeches in Ireland.  His poor health limits his effectiveness.

1893  --  his speeches lost their effectiveness.

1894  -- his speeches met with pity for the man. 

1894 (June)  --  his last speech is on Uganda and it is a miserable failure. 

1894 (autumn)  --  he goes on an around the world trip with Jennie, but his health becomes so bad that he has to come home from Cairo. 

1895 (Jan. 24)  --  Randolph dies back in London. 

1900 (July 28) – Jennie marries the much younger George Cornwallis-West (1874–1951), a captain in the Scots Guards.

She charters a hospital ship to care for the wounded in the Boer War in South Africa.

1908 – Jennie writes The Reminiscences of Lady Randolph Churchill.

1909 – Jennie’s play His Borrowed Plumes was chosen by Charles Frohman for his first production after becoming sole manager of The Globe Theater.

1912 – Jennie separates from her second husband.

1914 (April) – Jennie divorces her second husband.

1918 (June 1) – Jennie marries the much younger Montague Phippen Porch (1877–1964), a member of the British Civil Service in Nigeria.

1921 – while her third husband was in African, at age 67 Jennies falls down a staircase and break an ankle. Gangrene sets in, her left leg has to be amputated and a little later she dies at her hom in London (following a hemorrhage of an artery in her thigh.

 

 

Return To Main Page

Return to Home Page (Vernon Johns Society)