Lineage: Born June 28, 1920, third child, only daughter of Major John Strange Spencer-Churchill, Winston's younger brother. Father won a D.S.O. in the Boer War, died in 1947; mother, an Edwardian beauty, died in 1941. "True blue-blood," descended on her father's side from John Churchill, first Duke to Marlborough (1650-1722); on her mother's from the Earls of Abingdon (the present eighth earl is Clarissa's cousin).

Childhood & Education: Precociously intelligent, and a listener-in almost since cradle days to political talk, Clarissa has early memories of Uncle Winnie building brick walls at Chartwell. "He was...

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