King Edward VIII

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With unrivalled access to secret Cabinet documents, the unpublished papers of Chamberlain, Baldwin, Churchill and other statesmen, and thousands of hitherto unread private letters, Philip Ziegler reveals the complex personality of the King, in a masterly biography which is unlikely to be surpassed.

When King Edward VIII acceded to the throne in January 1936, Stanley Baldwin hailed him as the best qualified of British monarchs. The British people needed no such reassurance. They ...

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Overview

With unrivalled access to secret Cabinet documents, the unpublished papers of Chamberlain, Baldwin, Churchill and other statesmen, and thousands of hitherto unread private letters, Philip Ziegler reveals the complex personality of the King, in a masterly biography which is unlikely to be surpassed.

When King Edward VIII acceded to the throne in January 1936, Stanley Baldwin hailed him as the best qualified of British monarchs. The British people needed no such reassurance. They knew him to be widely travelled, good-looking, eloquent and quick-witted; concerned about the problems of unemployment, poverty and homelessness that plagued his people. Only those closest to him suspected that this radiant image would not endure; only the best informed were not appalled when his reign ended so abruptly.

The entire life of Edward VIII is examined: his supposedly unhappy boyhood, his glamorous existence as Prince of Wales, his brief and inglorious reign with its sensational ending, his period as Governor of the Bahamas, and his long decline in semi-exile. Ziegler describes his relationships with George V and Queen Mary, George VI and Queen Elizabeth, Freda Dudley Ward, Adolf Hitler, Oswald Mosley and many others; and most of all, analyses the passion for Wallis Simpson which led to his abdication after only eleven months. The result is a frank and wholly convincing biography.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780007481019
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 2/28/2012

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations vii
Preface viii
Acknowledgements xi
Family Tree xvi
1 The Child 1
2 The Youth 19
3 'Oh!! That I Had a Job' 48
4 The Captain 69
5 L'Education Sentimentale 88
6 The Role of the Prince 106
7 The First Tours 115
8 India 134
9 'The Ambassador of Empire' 148
10 'Half Child, Half Genius' 163
11 'A Steady Decline' 180
12 The Last Years as Prince 196
13 Mrs Simpson 222
14 Accession 240
15 'The Most Modernistic Man in England' 249
16 The King and Mrs Simpson 273
17 The Last Weeks 297
18 Abdication 311
19 Exile 336
20 Married Life 366
21 The Duke in Germany 386
22 Second World War 402
23 Spain and Portugal 420
24 The Bahamas 437
25 The American Connection 462
26 What Comes Next? 484
27 'Some Sort of Official Status' 496
28 The Duke as Author 514
29 The Final Years 534
Nomenclature 561
Notes 563
Bibliographical Notes 635
Index 637
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