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The Queen Mother: The Official Biography Paperback – November 16, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“A totally absorbing and highly readable account of a remarkable life. . . . Shawcross’s book is genuinely revelatory.”
—The Times (London)
—Los Angeles Times
“Lively and elegantly written. . . . A rich portrait.”
“Splendid. . . . An entertaining page-turner. . . . This masterly biography reveals a character whose charm was matched by courage, optimism, a strong sense of duty and a liking for fun. . . . A wonderful book, authoritative, frank and entertaining. It sets new standards for royal biography. . . . Anyone who finds royal biographies dull and dutiful is in for a surprise.”
—The Daily Telegraph (London)
“A portrait of a remarkable life lived in step with a century of sweeping change.”
“A colossal book about a colossal life, a spectacular journey across the entire 20th Century through the eyes of a thoughtful woman who took the hand of a shy royal understudy and was propelled through modern history.”
—Daily Mail (London)
“A behind-the-scenes glimpse at the Royal Family. . . . Fascinating reading. . . . Shawcross has written a remarkable book.”
“[Written] with unprecedented access to the private papers of the queen mother. . . . Her life is seen here as a mirror of the 20th century.”
—New York Post “Required Reading”
“Shawcross has been given access to the Royal Archives and they have yielded a rich harvest. . . . [There is an] immense amount of new material here. . . . He is to be congratulated for selecting so many juicy tidbits.”
—A. N. Wilson, Daily Mail (London)
“Engaging. . . . Colorful. . . . Delightful as well as dignified.”
—The Washington Times
“The correspondence in [The Queen Mother] is illuminating for both royal watchers and historians. . . . Divulges the Queen Mother’s opinions on topics ranging from feminism to homeopathy.”
—The Associated Press
“Impressively researched. . . . Shawcross avoids the traps [of] hagiography. . . . He succeeds in the difficult task of keeping his subject resolutely centre-stage in an elegant account.”
—The Independent (London)
“Shawcross’s journalistic skills are evident in the innumerable dabs of pointilliste detail. . . . There are many unexpected vignettes. . . . He serves his subject well.”
—Sunday Telegraph (London)
“Offers new and fascinating insights into the woman behind the pearls and pastel dresses.”
—Mail on Sunday
Top Customer Reviews
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 ›
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 ›
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 ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The Queen Mum was remarkable in spirit and stamina. Her optimistic nature is probably why she lived so long.Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
I enjoyed the book and learned a lot from it. I am an anglophile and found it quite interesting. Know that the beginning is a bit boring, but once you get into the book it is... Read morePublished 8 months ago by TDB
There are many "nay sayers" out there who consider members of the British Royal Family to be without merit and the monarchy an institution that should be abolished. Read morePublished 11 months ago by James Malin
Lots to read here but full of great stuff if you like this kind of thing. Not as juicy as it could be, the reviewers criticized this because the Palace OK'd it, therefore it's... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Alexa Porter
Charming letters to family and friends from a delightful lady that's all.Published 15 months ago by Maria
I couldn't think of a better way to catch up on 100 years of history. Well written and researched book, with amazing insight into a side of British Royalty which I had never read... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Joy Nason