29 JANUARY 1965, Page 13

SIR,—After reading Mr. Oswell Blakeston's review of All . My

Sins Remembered, by Viscount Churchill, and his reference to Blenheim Palace, I found it curious to reflect how, in heredity, it is so common to look at the sire of a marriage to trace the characteristics of its progeny, instead of, as well, to the mother. This seems to have been particularly true of some of the evaluations of Sir Winston Churchill himself, in remembering that he was a Marlborough, but omitting to recall that he was also a Jennings. We may not, perhaps, find many of the characteristics of Sarah Jennings, Duchess of Marlborough, in Sir Winston, but when we turn to her elder sister, Frances, later Duchess of Tyrconnel, we see many parts of him emerging: the resolution of the little maid of honour which made her one of the few whom Charles II was unable to importune; the loyalty to James II after he had fled before William of Orange—somewhat akin to Sir Winston's loyalty to the Duke of Windsor on his abdication—and, more than anything eke, per- haps, her daring and resource while she sold mil- linery from behind the disguise of a white mask, at a stall in New Exchange, Strand, to support her- self while over in London, acting as a Jacobite agent. To read part of the life of Frances Jennings, seems in places to sec Sir Winston all over again.

21 Dallis Park, Finchley, N3