Books on Churchill Family : British Biographer Anita Leslie Dies

From Times Wire Services

Anita Leslie, a British writer who chronicled court life during the Victorian era and penned a biography of her grand-aunt, Lady Randolph Churchill, died Tuesday in her Irish castle on Galway Bay, her publishers in London said. She was 72, and the cause of her death was not announced.

Miss Leslie once said that much of the material for her biographies came from family papers and her memory of talks with her grandmother, Leonie, who was the sister of Sir Winston Churchill's mother, Jennie Jerome of New York.

Miss Leslie's 14 books also included biographies of Sir Winston's grandfather, Leonard Jerome, and Churchill's son, Randolph.

Other books were "Edwardians in Love," and biographies of Mrs. Fitzherbert, mistress of King George IV; waxworks proprietor Madame Tussaud, and round-the-world solo yachtsman Francis Chichester.

Miss Leslie was the daughter of a writer, the late Sir Shane Leslie. She was an army ambulance driver in World War II in the Middle East, Italy, France and Germany and twice received the French Croix de Guerre for bravery in action.

Hutchinson Books, her publisher, said Miss Leslie died in her sleep in the 16th-Century castle by the shore of Galway Bay at Oranmore. She bought and restored the castle after the war.

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