The Queen Mother: The Official Biography

The Queen Mother: The Official Biography

by William Shawcross
4.0 53

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The Queen Mother: The Official Biography 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 53 reviews.
Capparoo More than 1 year ago
"The Queen Mother" is a wonderful book, full of history and insights to the youth of Elizabeth that made her the Queen she became. It is at once tragic, endearing and charming - one feels a part of Elizabeth's family as they celebrated holidays, spent time at their estates in London and Scotland, tended the wounded soldiers in their home during World War I, cried at death and rejoiced in daily life. Shawcross treats his subject realistically (including her spelling errors in correspondence) and allows the reader into a home environment that cultivated the woman the world adored. Shawcross describes Elizabeth's youth as both privileged and common, her life filled with joy and sorrows, her temperament as strong and caring. In his coverage of her life, he leaves no wonder that all the pieces of her life ultimately created a picture of a woman who would graciously conquer life's challenges, win the love and admiration of the people in the United Kingdom, and ultimately pass these qualities on to her children. Like the Queen Mother's life, this book is unpretentious, honest and fun.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
At first glance, this book can seem a bit intimidating- after all, it is a 1000+ page official biography of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother. Yet as the reader begins to tackle this book, they will find that it is much as Her Majesty is portrayed in this work- sophisticated, yet unpretentious. Shawcross has succeeded in writing a highly detailed, intelligent biography without boring or overwhelming the reader. It is at times poignant, other times humorous, and overall a fascinating story of not just the Queen Mother herself, but the United Kingdom and its citizens from the end of the Victorian Era to the 21st Century.
S-Dutch More than 1 year ago
Most interesting story of love and dedication. A woman of the upper class in England; pursued and finally married into the royal family and suddenly thrown into an unwanted and unexpected situation of dedication to service to her country. Widowed at an early age and continued to serve her people and country until well into her ninth decade with dignity and grace. It is sometimes hard not to smile and chuckle to think of the Queen of England with a fishing pole or in a horse barn; dancing a little dance with some young people at a private party she "crashed". She really enjoyed mingling with the common people just to allow them to know she cared without loosing the dignity of her office.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a surprising book. Initially I was very put off by its size - it looks like "War and Peace." I thought that this was going to be far more than I ever wanted to know about the Queen Mother. But Shawcross writes very, very well and he does a truly outstanding job of interweaving quotations from Queen Elizabeth's letters with his narrative (apparently the royal family communicated daily via letters / notes rather than talking to each other). One gets an excellent understanding of Queen Elizabeth's family, the Bowes-Lyons and one truly appreciates the personality of the Queen Mother, which is a remarkable achievement in a biography.
JBPA More than 1 year ago
Much admired by the British people, the Queen Mother was a very public woman, but her private life was closely guarded. Shawcross' research, though, introduces the reader to another side to the Queen Mother. She was compassionate, tough, witty and intelligent. She was a woman who didn't ask for the role of queen, but when called upon, she put aside her own misgivings for the good of her country. There are no big surprises in this book, as Shawcross chose to be respectful to her memory and write a dignified tome.
sjstaln More than 1 year ago
If you have any interest at all in British history, British royalty, or the "Queen Mum" you will enjoy this book. 
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I loved this book. If you're interested in WWII era, Great Britain, or the royal family, you'll love this book. I was afraid that being an authorized biography, it might be insincere, but there is so much great correspondence quoted, that you really get an authentic flavor of personalities. This is a beautiful biography of a beautiful figure in history.
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