Finest Hour 191, First Quarter 2021
St. Louisan Nancy Carver has a talent for making history come alive on the written page. Thanks to her insatiable sense of curiosity and deep research talents, Carver includes details and stories previously unpublished in nonfiction works to captivate readers.
With her latest book, The Inspiring History of a Special Relationship, she can add the word “magnanimous” to her approbations. All proceeds from the sale of this meticulously researched book, which U.K. Bookbag declared one of the top ten self-published books of 2020, will be allocated to the ongoing preservation work on Christopher Wren’s historic Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Aldermanbury, a part of America’s National Churchill Museum on the campus of Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri.
“Nancy Carver has given us a gift in more ways than one,” says Timothy Riley, the Monroe E. and Sandra L. Trout Director and Chief Curator of America’s National Churchill Museum. “The book is not only exceptionally written and researched, but it has a direct financial benefit to one of its subjects: the beautiful Wren church that Winston Churchill described as a symbol of ‘the ideals of Anglo-American association on which rest, now as before, so many of our hopes for peace and the future of mankind.’” Since 2019, the Museum has invested over $1.2 million into preservation—part of a $5 million campaign to preserve the historic building, which was severely damaged in the Blitz in London before it was rebuilt as a centerpiece of the Churchill Museum in Fulton during the 1960s.
The book supplies an unexpected and healthy mix of 17th century lore and modern-era details about St. Mary the Virgin, Aldermanbury, and its relocation in honor of Winston Churchill and his prophetic “Iron Curtain” speech at Westminster College 75 years ago.
A St. Louis native, Carver spent 25 years working in Washington D.C., but returned home to cover the history of St. Louis and the State of Missouri.
Carver’s previous books include Talk with Tilles, Making Tracks, and Discovering Public Parks in St. Louis, Missouri, and each has equally surprising facts to delight the reader. A descendant of Puritan and British colonial ancestors, Carver often uses genealogical research to help flesh out the story of St. Mary the Virgin, Aldermanbury. She hopes that The Inspiring History of a Special Relationship motivates people to better understand history and the need to preserve it through extraordinary projects such as the iconic church in at Westminster College in Fulton.
Carver is a Churchill Fellow and a member of the Board of Governors of America’s National Churchill Museum. A complete review of the book appears in Churchill Bulletin 152, February 2021.