This Monday Carol and I journeyed to Blenheim Palace, birthplace and once home of Winston Churchill, just 20 minutes outside of Oxford. On the bus ride there, we asked two older women, sitting behind us on the bus, if they knew which stop it would be and they very helpfully told us “the one just after our stop.” As they were getting off, the slyer of the two glanced at us and said, “you know, Churchill married an American.” She was, of course, referring to Winston Churchill’s father, who married Jenny Jerome, an American socialite. Carol and I remain unsure what comment (if any) this was supposed to make about our matrimonial prospects, but the link between British and American history at Blenheim was one I’m glad she drew our attention to. In fact, the ninth Duchess of Marlborough was another American heiress, Consuelo Vanderbilt.blow up jumpers
The palace was truly majestic as befitting a Vanderbilt (and of course, the British aristocracy) and Carol and I fell particularly in love with the library. Housing over 10,000 books, it looked like something out of a fairytale (Beauty and the Beast, in particular, comes to mind). Carol and I eventually left the long library and continued out into the gardens which were equally impressive, if less exciting than all those books. My only regret is that we will miss the International Horse Trials that will take place on the grounds in September.