The Queen Mother: The Official Biography

The Queen Mother The Official Biography The official and definitive biography of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother consort of King George VI mother of Queen Elizabeth II grandmother of Prince Charles and the most beloved British monarch of

The official and definitive biography of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother consort of King George VI, mother of Queen Elizabeth II, grandmother of Prince Charles and the most beloved British monarch of the twentieth century.Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes Lyon the ninth of the Earl of Strath s ten children was born on August 4, 1900, and, certainly, no one could haveThe official and definitive biography of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother consort of King George VI, mother of Queen Elizabeth II, grandmother of Prince Charles and the most beloved British monarch of the twentieth century.Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes Lyon the ninth of the Earl of Strath s ten children was born on August 4, 1900, and, certainly, no one could have imagined that her long life she died in 2002 would come to reflect a changing nation over the ourse of an entire century Now, William Shawcross given unrestricted access to the Queen Mother s personal papers, letters, and diaries gives us a portrait of unprecedented vividness and detail Here is the girl who helped convalescing soldiers during the First World War the young Duchess of York helping her reluctant husband assume the throne when his brother abdicated the Queen refusing to take refuge from the bombing of London, risking her own life to instill courage and hope in others who were living through the Blitz the dowager Queen the last Edwardian, the charming survivor of a long lost era representing her nation at home and abroad the matriarch of the Royal Family and the nation s best loved grandmother A revelatory royal biography that is, as well, a singular history of Britain in the twentieth century.

  • ☆ The Queen Mother: The Official Biography ✓ William Shawcross
    431 William Shawcross
The Queen Mother: The Official Biography

  1. William Shawcross is a widely renowned writer and broadcaster.

328 Reply to “The Queen Mother: The Official Biography”

  1. At 943 pages, this may be than anyone who isn t a royalty buff may ever want to know about Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother I m fairly exhausted after reading the book primarily because the sucker is really, really heavy I ve been reading this book for what seems like weeks, 50 and 100 pages at a time, and still I m left feeling unsatisfied It s an official biography, which apparently means that the author is a total admirer of the Queen Mother and the current Queen so that scandals are swept [...]


  2. Oh, Lordwhat can I say The book is a total whitewash of Queen Elizabeth the one that was married to George VI and her life Granted, she was a hard working Royal who was devoted to the British public But she also drank hard, held grudges like a bulldog and ran up a multimillion debt at Coutt s, Britain s richest bank She was one of the most interesting women of the 20th century and this book could have been a really interesting look at her But instead it glosses over her weaknesses, justifies her [...]


  3. This book was fantastic I usually reead a couple of books a day, but this one lasted almost three weeks The author used hundreds of sources to flesh out, not only the person of the Queen Mother, but her husband, King George VI, his parents, their kids, his brother King Edward and the woman he abdicated his throne for, and many, many others, including Winston Churchill The historical perspective it gave was priceless, stretching from the beginning of the twentieth century for a hundred years I al [...]


  4. One of the best biographies I ve read of an incredibly interesting life and an even fascinating woman.While not for the faint of heart at almost 1,000 pages, The Queen Mother portrays the interesting life and experiences of a common woman who ascends to the throne of England The Queen Mother proves a fascinating character shaped by her childhood experiences, sense of duty, joy for life, and love of family Her experiences alone make this book worthwhile, but by reading her correspondences with f [...]


  5. Absolutely fascinating and surprisingly topical look into not only the Queen Mother s personal and private family life, but a simultaneous look into the history and politics of Great Britain during the Queen Mother s 100 year life.William Shawcross the biographer and historian, explains how the Queen Mother and members of her immediate family made important decisions and how they then lived with the outcomes of these decisions.Topical book because what went on with Great Britain in the 1930 s th [...]


  6. I didn t expect a seminal work from this official biography I should probably give Hugo Vickers 2002 work a whirl for that But I did appreciate the liberal use of correspondence and other personal papers Shawcross was given access to The bio is riveting up through George VI s death and then went off a cliff into some rather numbing recitations, including her welfare and warfare patronages I can t decide if her life did turn boring after her husband died or if Shawcross is just being enormously d [...]


  7. THe first half was really enjoyable, but after King George VI dies, the book becomes a compilation of her patronage organizations and house party guests The earlier part of the book gives insight into family relationships by quoting letters from various royals, especially Queen Mary, but as the book goes on the material is thinner There is no discussion of her relationship with Queen Elizabeth, Princess Margaret, Princess Diana, or her grandchildren.


  8. This amazing woman, who became queen only because she was married to the brother of Edward VII who abdicated the throne, was gracious and as well loved as Princess Diana two generations later Born in 1900 and buried in 2002 she experienced the entire 20th century including two world wars, drastic changes in the views of the people toward the monarchy, and personal pain as she outlived siblings and her husband This is a wonderful story of what she and her world were like.


  9. A phenomenal book Author, William Shawcross states in the Epilogue that fate dealt the Queen Mother an extraordinary hand and that this book attempted to show what she made of it.She had an incredible life I learned so much about the Queen Mother and her family from this book I also gained a wealth of information about Great Britain and its history For example, in 1772 the Royal Marriages Act was put into place after two of King George III s brothers secretly married commoners of whom the King d [...]


  10. The author was given exclusive access to the archives of the Royal family to write this biography As a result it is a warm and generous, yet balanced, perspective on the life of the Queen Mother More importantly it is a unique perspective on the history of the 20th century, with the Queen Mother being born in 1900 and living for over 100 years.You cannot but help feel a great deal of sympathy for her as you read this book Growing up in the period of the First World War, when her house became a m [...]


  11. What ho as the Queen Mother was wont to begin her letters when she was a young woman This biography sheds fascinating light on the Queen Mother as a child and as a young woman Especially amusing were the quotations from the letters she wrote at the time a bit racy and saucy and fill of puns, double entendres, and other lively palaver After she married Bertie the Duke of York and then King George VI the book becomes much decorous and starts to bog down.I doubt that she lost her vivacity but I su [...]


  12. None of my friends or relatives would likely read this biography One review I read of it had the reader tired from covering almost 1,000 pages of 101 years of history, holding a 5 pound book along the way I feel somewhat the same way having just finished it Well written, though does get bogged down w reviews of QEQM s regiments, patronages, trips to Canada During her widowhood, the 22 private trips to France w her entourage over 30 years were interesting in that her private secretary had to find [...]


  13. This was unbelievably difficult to get through I have not ever read anything as detailed, meticulously researched and with as many footnotes I have to say that I am very glad that I stayed the course and finished it I thoroughly enjoyed the history of both World Wars and it brought to life all the stories I had been told during childhood My impetus for reading this book was really seeing the current film The King s Speech The subject of George VI s stuttering problem is given very little attenti [...]


  14. This book started out as a bang for me The Queen Mum was way fascinating then I anticipated or remembered about her Towards the end the book starts to lose itself Entire chapters which are not short were devoted to her charity work and travels Although, on the surface this seems like a good thing to write about it, it knocks the entire book out of chronological order for a very dull side road especially as they had been peppered through out the previous 600 pages Interesting enough she had poli [...]


  15. What an amazing book I felt as if I lived her whole life as a friend and from day one, August 1900 until her death in March 2002 The author has writtien about the life of a very well loved woman without sugar coating or over dramatizing the Queen Mother s life The author s insight and research was complete and non biased and made for a very entertaining history of this most loved person For questions on why she did or didn t do certain things was explained by way of learning the how and why of E [...]


  16. The Queen Mother On being pregnant with the future Queen Elizabeth II The sight of wine simply turns me up Isn t it extraordinary she wrote to her husband in September It will be a tragedy if I never recover my drinking powers She need not have worried LOL Very tame, but then again it s an official biography Still, The Queen Mother did write very entertaining letters.


  17. Being an official biography it s a little squeaky clean, but still plenty interesting, well written and well narrated Please support your local independent bookstore when buying this book Buying from hurts your local economy If you don t know where to go, check here indiebound indie store


  18. Read in tandam with Shawcross book of her letters, this book gave the Queen who saw Great Britain through its darkest days her due Highly enjoyable


  19. Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes Lyon was born in 1900 and was the ninth of the Earl of Strath s ten children Although born to a well to do, aristocratic family, likely no one, including Elizabeth herself, would have guessed that she would die in 2002 as the Queen Mother of Queen Elizabeth II After a very happy and carefree childhood amongst her close family, Elizabeth finally agreed to marry the Duke of York After her initial hesitation, the two appeared to have had a loving and close marriage [...]


  20. 950 pages of text You might ask yourself, is such length really necessary for a person who, however charming, was not really a world historical figure 400 pages maybe 600 pages for an exceptionally full account that includes longeuers But 950 pages You have to be a masochistic royalty watcher like me to survive the complete book Alas, this book is well padded with endless passages about royal tours eleven to Canada alone If I had to read about one wreath laying in Toronto I think I was going to [...]


  21. I have read biographies of English monarch before, except only those during the Middle Ages or Renaissance And while not non fiction, I have read about Queen Victoria, who until now, was the most modern British monarch I d read about The Queen Mother is interesting because she was born in 1900, what I consider history, but lived until 2002, what I, instead, consider modern times Because of her long life, the book reads not only a a history of her life, but also of the 20th century itself.It was [...]


  22. It takes a lot of pages to tell the story of a life than spans than a century However, the contents of these pages may not be everything you re expecting This book is precisely what it purports to be a biography of the life and times of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Here are the things that this book is not, although you might wish it to be a House of Windsor tell all Diana appears only briefly, Fergie is a non character, and there aren t any juicy Wallis Simpson Duchess of York powder room [...]


  23. 4.5 stars, maybe This book was a huge undertaking, but I thoroughly enjoyed it The second half of Queen Elizabeth s life was for me less exciting, since she had to take of a backseat though one can argue she didn t do this at all in her role as Queen Mother I didn t sigh my way through the frequent Canada tours so much as other reviewers did, but I ll grant that this section was probably the least entertaining and interesting of the whole book.I enjoyed reading about her early years her spellin [...]


  24. Overall, this was a very engaging book Though extremely long, as befits such a long and noteworthy life story as that of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, the combination of personal anecdote, education about royal custom and the monarchy, and history makes this worth the read There are some annoyances, such as the author s tendency to namecheck, usually in a detailed footnote, what seems like every single person with whom the Queen Mother ever came into contact I didn t feel as though knowing t [...]


  25. This is an official biography incorporating the letters and diaries of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother But it seems she didn t keep an extensive diary, and there s almost nothing of the scandals that plagued her grandchildren At times, it reads like a recitation of her travel schedule.Still, I enjoyed reading about her childhood at Glamis Castle and St Paul s Walden Bury before WWI It was a little bit like Downton Abbey, except Lady Elizabeth and her sisters all got along And there could been [...]


  26. This well researched and documented bio of the mother of the current Queen of England eventually starts to drag Elizabeth Bowes Lyon, the subject of this book, was from a well known Scottish noble family She grew up both in Scotland and England, in a family that was livelier and relaxed than many of the Victorian and Edwardian noble families of the time.During WWI, as a young teen, she helped her mother with a hospital for wounded soldiers, which helped her establish her sense of duty After the [...]


  27. If only this book had stopped at World War II But then, the author warned us that Queen Elizabeth s decades in the 50 s 60 s 70 s 80 s 90 s tended to blend one into the other Indeed they did I have to admit I skimmed a whole bunch of do goodery volunteerism and Commonwealth tours to get to Diana s funeral et al The first part of this book was wonderful though What a woman, thrust into the limelight completely against her will, and then bravely facing the dangers of World War II at her husband s [...]


  28. I wanted to read about the Queen Mother after seeing The King s Speech I didn t realize how long this biography was until it came in the mail943 pages There was a little TOO much detail for me It wasn t just in the page numbers I loved Walter Isaacson s 650 page biography on Steve Jobs ere was just so many small details Of course I wanted to know about how she felt about Princess Dianaat was a blip in the book Next I would like to read about her daughter, Queen Elizabeth II Not THAT much Just [...]


  29. A massive read that s somewhat, but not deeply, satisfying The amount of detail is far too extensive for anyone but the most dedicated reader and key issues in her life are glossed over What emerges is a fairly shallow portrait of a woman who was much complex That s the struggle I always have with official biographies I prefer my heroes to be fully dimension, complex individuals with flaws, but in these books they always emerge as flat, one sided characters with few, if any flaws That s not sur [...]



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