The first twenty-five years of Churchill's life were full of adventure: night marches, cavalry charges, skirmishes on the North West Frontier, escape from a Boer prisoncamp and a visit to the Cuban War. Acknowledged as his best book, his zest for life bursts right off the page of My Early Life. Yet this is more than just an adventure story. It is an elegiac portrayal of the halcyon period of Edwardian content before the First World War, and deeply revealing of one of the dominating personalities of the twentieth century. Here lie the roots of that restless, questing energy and dauntless ambition, born of absent parents and miserable schooling.