In Conversation with… Charlotte Gray

Sep 28, 2023

In Conversation with... Charlotte Gray
Passionate Mothers, Powerful Sons

Date: September 28, 2023 at 7:00 PM
AEG Liebherr Auditorium
Ticket Icon $15 In person
Ticket Icon $50 In person with a book

Born into upper-class America in the same year, 1854, Sara Delano (later to become the mother of Franklin Delano Roosevelt) and Jennie Jerome (later to become the mother of Winston Churchill) refused to settle into the shadows as self-effacing wives of privileged and prominent men. Instead, despite the constraints of their times, both women took control of their own lives, and became crucial to their sons’ successes in reaching the epicenter of political power on two continents.

Yet their personalities and choices were dramatically different. A vivacious extrovert, Jennie married Lord Randolph Churchill, a rising politician and scion of a noble British family. Her deft social and political maneuverings helped not only her mercurial husband but, once she was widowed, her ambitious son, Winston. By contrast, deeply conventional Sara married a man as old as her father. But after James Roosevelt’s early death, she made Franklin Delano, her only child, the focus of her existence. Thanks in large part to her financial support and to her guidance, Franklin acquired the skills he needed to become a successful politician.

Set against one hundred years of history, Passionate Mothers, Powerful Sons is a study in loyalty and resilience. Impeccably researched and filled with intriguing social insights, this astonishing biography breathes new life into two passionate women.

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