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by Betty Taylor

Clare Sheridan was a cousin of Sir Winston Churchill, whom she embarrassed by her wild behaviour and belief in free love.

She married in 1910 and had three children, one of whom died in 1914. Grief-stricken, she modelled an angel for her child's grave and discovered a talent for sculpture.

After the death of her husband in the First World War, she began exhibiting her portrait sculptures, including one of Churchill, created while he painted her.

An admirer of communism, she travelled in secret to the Soviet Union in 1920. There she sculpted Lenin and Trotsky, later publishing her diary of the trip.

She then went to Mexico and America, where she settled, becoming friends with Charlie Chaplin. Next she turned to journalism, interviewing senior European figures for the American press.

Her second trip to Russia, in 1923, proved disillusioning. She took her children to live first in Turkey and then on the edge of the Sahara in Algeria.

After the Second World War she became a Roman Catholic. She continued to sculpt and to write her memoirs.

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