Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

Audible Sample
Playing...
Loading...
Paused

The Queen Mother Audible – Abridged

4 out of 5 stars 80 customer reviews

See all 13 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Audible, Abridged
"Please retry"
$0.00
Free with your Audible trial
Free with Audible trial
$0.00
Buy with 1-Click
$20.95

Sold and delivered by Audible, an Amazon company


Product Details

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By John D. Cofield TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 6, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Its important to understand that William Shawcross has written an authorized or official biography of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother. That means, as Shawcross states in his Introduction, that he was invited by Queen Elizabeth II to write her mother's life. Shawcross was given access to the Royal Archives and other private collections as well as tape recorded reminiscences made by the Queen Mother herself in her final years. He also interviewed hundreds of former servants and friends. In the Introduction, Shawcross emphasizes that he was given "absolute freedom to write as I wished." There is no doubt in my mind that The Queen and Royal Family did indeed allow him to write freely, knowing that he would craft a truthful but respectful chronicle. This is by way of saying that one should not read this work expecting sensational gossip or shocking "revelations". Others have written about such things, and no doubt many more will be written in coming years. This book portrays the Queen Mother much as she herself would wish to be portrayed.

Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon was born in August, 1900, the daughter of a wealthy family of Scots and English nobility. The ninth of ten children, she had a happy childhood unburdened by too much education, did nursing in World War I, and eventually made her debut with the prospect of making a brilliant match. She attracted one of the most brilliant names available, Prince Albert Duke of York, second son of King George V. After refusing him several times she agreed to marry him in 1923. She became an early royal superstar, beloved by the British for her charm and good humor.
Read more ›
6 Comments 97 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
How can a book so carefully compiled, so exhaustively footnoted, so completely researched be lacking? One expects an official biography to present a carefully shaded version of a life, the problem with TQM:TOB is that there is no shading at all. Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon is never reflected against her peers, she exists in a bubble of her own life without much to contrast her with. While the resurfacing of the tennis courts is covered in exhaustive detail, the true information about who she was is detailed without being defined. Context is sketchy at best, with personalities left unrevealed. Just taking the section of her engagement to Prince Albert - he goes from interest in a married woman to a three year obsession with Elizabeth seemingly overnight. No other person in their lives had an opinion on this, it seems, except for glancing references to their parents being vexed over the push/pull dynamic between the two. A major suitor who would obviously be in competition is mentioned, but Elizabeth's view on him is silent. When she writes that she never thought she would say yes the reader has no idea to what she is referring. Did she think she would never marry at all? (She does state she thinks marriage is a sad day) That she would never marry Albert? What has changed her mind? Why did it need changing?

Biography, at it's strongest, lets you feel as though you have glimpsed into the heart of a person. An interested reader will study original papers (of course) and peruse many books on the same subject for a variety of perspectives on the historical figure in question. The frustrating thing about TQM:TOB is that is reads more like a compilation of source material than a portrait of a life. Elizabeth is capable. Elizabeth is sickly. Elizabeth is beloved. Elizabeth is bereaved.
Read more ›
6 Comments 44 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
I was very excited to see this book come out, because there hasn't been a recent book on the Queen Mother. Mr. Shawcross' work is indeed comprehensive, filled with detail and quite well researched. That said, however, it wasn't an enjoyable read. It was almost sterile in its portrayal of a remarkable woman who lived an entire century, almost like reading a pedantic Victorian diary. Yes, she was noble, yes, she had great dignity and preserved the integrity of the British monarchy, but that said, it was tiresome. She's portrayed as a noble saint (was there no one, save the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, who disliked her?) who does no wrong. It's almost as if Mr. Shawcross, who was given extensive access to the palace resources, was afraid of offending her daughter (the present Queen). I've read references to the Queen Mother in other royal books, some not so flattering accounts, including her denials that she ever refused Bertie's proposal, and she comes across to me in this book as disingenuous and remote. I wasn't looking for any kind of scandal or even anything NEW about her, but the account was dry and in the end unsatisfying. I wanted to like this book, but it just seemed to me a waste of time when I was finished with it.
2 Comments 34 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
Eventhough with the majority of biographies you always know the ending, I still cried a little at William Shawcross's description of the Queen Mother's funeral in the final pages of his fascinating book on her life.

I am British and have lived in the US for 10 years. When the Queen Mother died in 2002 I was already here and paid little attention to what was going on back home at the time, only now realizing that both she and her younger daughter died within weeks of each other. What I had also never realized (given that she was already in her late 60's when I was born) was how much she did during the first and especially the second world wars to motivate, inspire and generally cheer up the people around her. Mr. Shawcross's description of the King and Queen during WWII gave me a far better understanding of that time than any lessons I took at school. This account also explained the relationship between Britain and the USA, the friendships between the King & Queen and the Roosevelts and the impetus that caused the USA to at last ally with Britain during WWII.

Also during this time, and until the King's death in 1952, the love story that was their marriage was a very rare thing to read about. His letters to her and hers to him, his wooing of her, her refusal of him and then the undying love, devotion and support that glued them together. This in itself gripped me and the description of the King's death again bought tears because you knew that she would not be able to cope without him. But she did (albeit with a deeply hidden sadness for her husband whom she remembered with a private mass every year on the anniversary of his death until she was too frail to go to chapel at the age of 101).
Read more ›
Comment 13 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews