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The Queen Mother: The Untold Story of Elizabeth Bowes Lyon, Who Became Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Hardcover – April 24, 2012
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About the Author
LADY COLIN CAMPBELL, who is connected to the royal family through mutual ancestors and marriage, is the author of the New York Times bestseller Diana in Private--which was the first book to reveal the truth behind the "fairytale" marriage of the Prince and Princess of Wales--as well as The Royal Marriages: What Really Goes on in the Private World of the Queen and Her Family, and The Real Diana.
Top Customer Reviews
I went into this fully prepared to learn some things about the Queen Mother that were unflattering and human and true. In fact, I want a biography to be unvarnished and as honest as possible. But the author spends so much time attributing petty, selfish or mean motives to every. single. thing. that Elizabeth Lyon Bowes ever did, said, wrote or showed up at, that frankly it's impossible to see any honesty in it at all. The author spends more than a few words taking potshots at what she sees as the airbrushed truth of The Queen Mother's authorized biographies - well, dear author, you come across as equally biased, just in the opposite direction. All you succeeded in doing was making me distrust any "fact" you presented.
Worth reading? Maybe. There are some interesting details and tidbits and historical sidenotes I'd not read before. But if you're looking for an actual honest biography of a much beloved (but certainly human and therefore flawed) public figure, I don't think this is it.
Although I learned a lot of tidbits about various royals, I don't buy Campbell's attempt to scrub up Edward and Wallis's reputations. ER VIII may have been jockeyed off the throne but he and his girlfriend certainly helped. And if the abdication happened in the plausible way Campbell related, none of the principals - royals, courtiers, politicians - conducted themselves well, excepting the very brave, steadfast George VI.
Campbell at least offers a view held by many who would know, that Elizabeth's steel beneath the marshmellow was real, not always admirable, and corrosive. And it rings true. Mixed with her many good traits and her ability to inspire, which the author frequently mentions, I have a more realistic portrait of who she was - good and bad. That's the essense of biography.
If you buy the official view of this longstanding public figure, spare yourself the "offense." If you want a more complete view of her, consider this book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This was the meanest, most venomous book I have ever had the misfortune of reading.Published 1 month ago by Dan
Well written with new details that seasoned anglophiles will appreciate.Published 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
A biography (and I use the term loosely) that has no basis in fact (totally unproven by the author).
The author reveals more about herself than the subject. Read more
Although it is a bit of a slow read, mostly because the author throws in so many, many names of royals while telling the story, I am still enjoying it and learning a lot of... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Grey Gardens
Only three stars because, although it is well written and keeps your interest until the very end - even though you obviously know how it turns out, the paucity of credible sources... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Fran J.
It was such an interesting book. Lady Colin Campbell always writes such wonderful books.Published 12 months ago by Ellen Gould
I have never read anything about the Queen Mum before. All I ever saw was her smiling face on tv or in books. Wow! What a horrible, spoiled woman! Read morePublished 13 months ago by Amazon Customer