Winston and Clementine
It was lockdown, and I was short of a book to read. One night I picked up the fat paperback volume of letters that I had ordered from Amazon (yes, I know, but where else could I buy a 1999 paperback in twenty-four hours in the panicky first weeks of the pandemic?). The book was Speaking for Themselves: The Personal Letters of Winston and Clementine Churchill; I thought it might be useful research for my biography of King George V. To my surprise, I was gripped. During those early weeks of London lockdown, I clung to the certainty of routine: long walks through the haunted, empty streets of Mayfair or Westminster, sneaking in two walks a day because of my dog, the weekly socially distanced supermarket queue and, at the end of those strange housebound days, looking forward to my bedtime ration of Churchill letters.