Counting One's Blessings: The Selected Letters of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother
  • Counting One's Blessings: The Selected Letters of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother
  • Counting One's Blessings: The Selected Letters of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother
  • Counting One's Blessings: The Selected Letters of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother
<Previous >Next

Counting One's Blessings: The Selected Letters of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother

4.0 2
by William Shawcross
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

William Shawcross’s official biography of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, published in September 2009, was a huge critical and commercial success.

 

One of the great revelations of the book was Queen Elizabeth’s insightful, witty private correspondence. Indeed, The Sunday Times described her letters as “wonderful . . .

See more details below

Overview

William Shawcross’s official biography of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, published in September 2009, was a huge critical and commercial success.

 

One of the great revelations of the book was Queen Elizabeth’s insightful, witty private correspondence. Indeed, The Sunday Times described her letters as “wonderful . . . brimful of liveliness and irreverence, steeliness and sweetness.”

 

Now, Shawcross has put together a selection of her letters, drawing on the vast wealth of material in the Royal Archives and at Glamis Castle. Queen Elizabeth was a prolific correspondent from her earliest childhood before the First World War to the very end of her long life at the beginning of the twenty-first century, and her letters offer readers a vivid insight into the real person behind the public face.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
On the eve of WWII, Queen Elizabeth, consort to King George VI, famously declared that she would not leave London: "The children could not go without me, I could not possibly leave the King, and the King would never go." Her stalwart devotion to family and country were why her country loved her, and form the most notable aspect of this collection of many of the letters she composed throughout her long life. (She died at 101 in 2002). Royal watchers will enjoy reading about the Windsors through the Queen Mother's comforting and intimate, although not revealing, voice, such as this observation about her scandal-plagued brother-in-law, the one-time King Edward VIII (David to the family): "David does not seem to possess the faculty for making others feel wanted." Insights into the Queen Mother's character include some surprising glimmers of humor and a deep compassion for the English people but are not enough to mitigate excessive length and the lack of a strong editorial hand. Shawcross covers this material more efficiently in his own biography of the Queen Mother. Agent: Lynn Nesbit, Janklow & Nesbit. (Nov.)
Library Journal
Among British media sorts, Shawcross is royalty; he's the official biographer of the Queen Mother and writer/presenter of the BBC series Monarchy. Here he assembles this anthology of correspondence from the Queen Mother, which span the 20th century. Go, royalty fans!
Kirkus Reviews
A lifetime of letters by the beloved queen mother reflects a tumultuous century in England. Edited by Shawcross (The Queen Mother: The Official Biography, 2009, etc.), these letters by Elizabeth Bowes Lyon (1900–2002) move from the gushing expressions of a young privileged person to a grasp of sobering responsibility and mature conviction as world events began to shape her future. The vivacious youngest daughter to Lord and Lady Strathmore, growing up amid a big, happy family on their country estates, Elizabeth reveals her early sunny disposition in letters to her mother and rather disorganized education but keen mimicry of the Scottish dialect as written to her favorite brother, David. Evidently well-loved and popular, she attracted many suitors, including the stammering, awkward second son of George V, called Bertie, whom she politely rebuffed for two years but then accepted in January 1923 ("I feel terrified now I've done it…in fact nobody is more surprised than me"). Fourteen years as the Duchess of York followed fairly happily, during which Elizabeth ("Lilibet") and Margaret were born. The untimely death of George V and the stunning abdication of Edward VIII delivered back-to-back blows, and Elizabeth reveals an authentic loyalty to her husband ("I am terrified for him…do help him," she wrote to her reprobate brother-in-law) and growing confidence bolstered by religion and a sense of being in touch with the British people. Her natural touch helped gain the crown enormous support during World War II, as revealed in her radio appeals to British and American women. Courtly, engaging, down-to-earth letters by a kindly English aristocrat of the old school.

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780374185220
Publisher:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date:
11/27/2012
Pages:
688
Sales rank:
742,486
Product dimensions:
9.10(w) x 6.40(h) x 2.00(d)

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >