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The King's Speech: How One Man Saved the British Monarchy Paperback – November 26, 2010

124 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"Simon Vance . . . offers such a fluent and silky reading, it's as if he, too, had practiced his speechmaking with Logue. The audiobook's highlight is the recording of the speech delivered on September 3, 1939. Having been so lavishly informed of the struggles that went into the preparation of the speech, its delivery, the listener hears each pause and intonation with the greatest drama." ---Publishers Weekly Audio Review --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

About the Author

Peter Conradi's books include The Red Ripper: Inside the Mind of Russia's Most Brutal Serial Killer, Mad Vlad: Vladimir Zhirinovksy and the New Russian Nationalism, and Hitler's Piano Player.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 242 pages
  • Publisher: Sterling; 1St Edition edition (November 26, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 140278676X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402786761
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (124 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #289,463 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

226 of 231 people found the following review helpful By John D. Cofield TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 24, 2010
Format: Paperback
Published just before the opening of the movie of the same name, The King's Speech by Mark Logue and Peter Conradi is subtitled How One Man Saved The British Monarchy. That might seem on first glance to be typical publishing hyperbole, but after reading this fine biography most will agree that there's quite a bit of truth to it.

Lionel Logue was an Australian who moved to England during the 1920s. He was a pioneer in the teaching of elocution and as what we today call a speech therapist. His success brought him to the notice of the Royal Household, and he was soon requested to take on another patient: H.R.H. Prince Albert, Duke of York, second son of King George V.

Bertie, as the Royal Family called him, had a severe stammer that had begun during his spartan childhood and became worse as he grew up. Already outshown by his glamourous older brother the Prince of Wales, Bertie's speech difficulties caused him endless embarassment and hid his many fine qualities. Fortunately, Bertie had a wife who was determined to help her husband. Elizabeth, Duchess of York either introduced her husband to Logue or was otherwise instrumental in helping the two to connect. Over the next several years Logue met with his royal patient many times and eventually succeeded in helping the Duke gain more self confidence and speak more clearly.

Logue and Bertie's success came to be of national importance in December 1936 when King Edward VIII suddenly abdicated and left the throne to his younger brother. Now King George VI, Bertie was required to make many speeches both in person and over the air. He never completely mastered his stammer, but his improvement, fostered by Logue and by Queen Elizabeth, enabled him to speak fluently enough to satisfy all but the most severe critics.
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93 of 94 people found the following review helpful By Jenny Allworthy on January 15, 2011
Format: Paperback
Both the film and the book were wonderful. Having said that, the film is a wonderful story along with the kind of film crafting that will lift your heart. The book is very interesting and informative, but it is a non-fiction book, so you cannot expect the kind of entertainment that the film gives.
I thought it interesting that the filmmakers changed a few things (as they always do). Large things like (spoiler alert) that Bertie stopped his sessions with Logue because he was doing so well, not because they had a falling out. And small things like a joke between the brothers taken seriously in the movie makes one aware that Bertie and David were much closer to each other before the abdication, than the film would lead you to believe.
If you loved the film, but you would like the "real story" then you will love this book. And it really makes the relationship between Logue and Bertie seem even more amazing.
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61 of 63 people found the following review helpful By Jill Meyer TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 28, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In lieu of being able to watch the movie "The King's Speech" because it hasn't been released yet, I ordered the book by the same name, written by Lionel Logue's grandson, Mark Logue, and his co-author, Peter Conradi. The book is a well-written biography of Australian-born speech therapist Lionel Logue and his work with Britain's Prince Albert when he was Duke of York in the 1920's and continuing on in the 1930's when "Bertie" became King - George VI - in 1936, and then afterward during WW2.

Albert, son of King George V and younger brother of Edward VIII, had developed a stammer during his youth, which made him shy and uncommunicative. As someone who has struggled all my life with a relatively mild stutter, I thought it was good that Mark Logue did not attribute the cause of Bertie's stammer to any one thing. Stuttering is an impediment which seems to arise from both/either physical and psychological reasons and most of the time cannot be properly ascribed to any one thing. In Bertie's case, it was possibly from a difficult youth. He and his siblings were not close to their parents - as was common in those days - and his parents seemed to rather scare him when they were together. A sadistic nanny and the changing of his left-handedness to right may have contributed to his stutter. In any case, he was a man who could not always control his own speech, and he was moving into some situations where he would be called on to speak publicly and to do so often.

After his marriage, Bertie consulted Lionel Logue who had emigrated to England from Australia with his wife and young family and set up a practice in speech therapy in London's Harley Street.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Mark on February 9, 2011
Format: Paperback
I picked this book off a shelf while shopping at our local grocery store (sorry Amazon). After watching the movie (which is excellent) I wanted to know more about what really took place. I wasn't disappointed in that Mark Logue fills in many gaps that the film doesn't- as he should, having access to most of his grandfather's scrapbooks, letters and diaries. What I really liked about the book is that Logue and his co-writer keep as objective as they can and avoid the trap of making this a "what my grandfather did" type of book as it easily could have become- one forgets that the author is the grandson of the main character. Some drawbacks of the book are that it seems to have been rushed into print as there are several obvious "typos" that would have been eliminated with more time to make corrections to the manuscript. Another item that would have been nice is to bring out some more details of the actual treatment of the Duke/King- what Logue actually did to help him. We are treated to much of it in the movie, especially [SPOILER ALERT] the very humorous movie scene in which Logue has Bertie shout every cuss word he can come up with (how it got the "R" rating). I wanted to know if that really was one of Lionel's methods- but the book doesn't tell us. As some have said the book does slow down after the initial meetings of the two and once Bertie is coronated King George VI. However, in the author's defense, I'm not sure what else he could have done. It clearly wasn't meant to be a detailed biography of the King or even Logue himself, and perhaps it suffers some. My wife (who also read it) felt it got bogged down in history telling during the Second World War, but that too was probably unavoidable. All in all, however, I believe it is worth four stars and that you should read it if you want to know more about the REAL story- not the dramatized version in the movie.
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