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Blood Royal: The Story of the Spencers and the Royals Paperback – 3 Apr 2000

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; New edition edition (3 April 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0006530540
  • ISBN-13: 978-0006530541
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 14 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,085,441 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

John George Pearson is a novelist and an author of biographies, notably of Ian Fleming, the creator of James Bond, and of the Kray twins.

Pearson was educated at King's College School, Wimbledon, and Peterhouse, Cambridge, where he won a double first in history. He then worked for The Economist, BBC Television and The Sunday Times. He was Ian Fleming's assistant at the Sunday Times and went on to write the first biography of Fleming, The Life of Ian Fleming', published in 1966.

Pearson was commissioned by Donald Campbell to chronicle his successful attempt on the Land Speed Record in 1964 in Bluebird CN7, resulting in the book Bluebird and the Dead Lake.

Pearson has also written "true crime" biographies, such as The Profession of Violence (The most read book in Great Britain's Prisons), an account of the rise and fall of the Kray twins, who had hired him to write their biography in 1967. Over the next several years the brothers, who by now were in jail, wrote frequently to Pearson. He wrote two further books about the Krays: The Cult of Violence: The Untold Story of the Krays and Notorious: The Immortal Legend of the Kray Twins. In 2010 Pearson put up for auction more than 160 previously unseen letters and photographs from the Kray twins.

Another of Pearson's books, The Gamblers, is an account of the group of gamblers who made up what was known as the Clermont Set, including John Aspinall, James Goldsmith and Lord Lucan. Warner Bros. purchased the film rights to the book in 2006. Pearson's story of The Gamblers has now been made into a TV series called 'Lucan' starring Michael Gambon and Christopher Eccleston, to be aired on ITV1 in two parts on 11th and 18th December 2013.
Pearson's book Facades was the first full-scale biography of the Sitwell siblings Edith, Osbert and Sacheverell. It was published in 1978.

Pearson has also written five novels. Storm Jameson praised his first novel, Gone to Timbuctoo, as "an unusually good first novel, an exciting story, and a splendid setting in French West Africa. The writing is sharp and witty." Malcolm Muggeridge said, "This is an exceptionally brilliant first novel - exciting, wryly funny and perceptive."

For his next three novels Pearson did tie-in fictional biographies. Pearson also became the third official author of the James Bond series, writing in 1973 James Bond: The Authorized Biography of 007, a first-person biography of the fictional agent James Bond. However, Pearson declined an offer to write further Bond novels. Pearson then did fictional tie-in works about Upstairs, Downstairs (The Bellamys of Eaton Place) and Biggles.

John Pearson's new website has recently been launched:

Product Description


‘Pearson makes light work of some heavy-duty history. He manages to make Diana’s riveting ancestors more so by showing how each bequeathed her the qualities she needed in the hostile, unappreciative world of the Windsors.’
Anthony Holden, Sunday Express

From the Back Cover

The Spencer dynasty is one of the most successful that England has ever produced.'Blood royal' is the fascinating story of the crucial role that Spencer blood will play in the English monarchy’s future.

The tragic death of Diana, Princess of Wales, has left an indelible mark on the British nation. Diana personally left an indelible mark on the family of Windsor: her Spencer genes. The genetic make-up of the diminutive Queen Victoria, dominant within the House of Windsor for so long, has finally been overridden by those of another aristocratic family. It is impossible not to notice that at the age of sixteen Prince William – heir to the throne – is physically very much his mother’s son, towering above his Windsor relatives. As death enfolds the older Windsor’s, Prince William and Harry will become the new monarchy

Now headed by Charles Spencer, Diana’s younger brother, the Spencers are a family that has never lost its instinct for grandiose survival. The Spencers are historically acknowledged virtuosi of the art of successful marriage. 'Blood Royal' tells how they gained their power; how they used it, and how they finally achieved their grandest dynastic marriage of all in 1981: the union of Diana Spencer with Charles Mountbatten Windsor, Prince of Wales.

John Pearson is the author of several novels and biographies including ' The Life of Ian Flemimg, The Profession of Violence: The Rise and fall of the Kray Twins, Stags and Serpents: The History of the Dukes of Devonshire' and ' The Ultimate Family'

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By Jo Mcnally on 1 Jan 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
After having read about all previous Spencer's in this book I was so disappointed that this book ended so suddenly, after all it was the recent Spencer's that was so interesting, needed to read more.
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By Angela duffus on 21 Nov 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It puts the stories you read about the Spencers' And Royals into perspective. I would like to read more of this authour
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 6 reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Camelot was never like this 30 Mar 2000
By lesley - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Ok for all you royalty junkies out there, I know, I know, toothy Camilla and her breeches just don't do it for you, or Fergie now that she've given up toes and taken up Weight watchers. But here is a book for you all! If you are into ancestor worship, it covers the earliest Spencers from a penny pinching arriviste, to Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough (formerly Ms Jenkins, a frisky lady in waiting to King Charles II, my all time favorite royal, the current ones gene pool is so sullied, those ears!). In fact the premise of the book is that Sarah's turbulent blood heritage has washed on down to the current Spencers, the late lamented Diana, her sons, and that Champagne Charlie of a brother of hers. The middle Spencers are not too interesting, mainly obsessed with acquiring goodies for Althorp (the stately home), but as I said it warms up really nicely by Diana's regime.I enjoyed it greatly, particularly the parts of how pained Queen Elizabeth II was by the gossip and infighting. Poor dear. Barbara Cartland's tacky daughter Raine deserves 2 chapters just for how she redecorated a beautiful estate, I'm surprised she didn't roll out the black velvet Elvis paintings. Thumbs up all the way!
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Fast Paced and Fun 21 April 2002
By John G. Hilliard - Published on
Format: Hardcover
My wife is addicted to all things Royal with a special sweet tooth for Diana books. Therefore, she went out and picked this up as soon as she heard it was out. She read it, loved it and then suggested I read it because it would give me a good history of the Spencer family. I didn't think I needed this education, but I gave it a go. I must say the book surprised me. Fist off it gave me a lot of history of the family but in doing so I learned a lot of the history of the UK, at least the last 400 years. The book was full of details and read well. It has an easy to read style that always comes through with a good bit of gossip here and there - like how did they spend all that money? Overall it is an interesting book and if you are into the Royals then my wife says it is a must read.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Quick overview of a family that helped to (un)make England 18 Sep 2000
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
Not a quickie biography of the late Princess, this is a story spanning centuries and generations.
It covers the rise of the Spencers from prosperous sheep farmers in the 16th century through the years and the monarchs they served or betrayed. A light - gossipy style helps to make the generations fly by. The foibles of the modern aristocracy pale in comparison with the lifestyles of their predecessors.
If all that you want is to read about the young girl who was 'hired' to prop up a tottering throne - then I suggest that you look elsewhere. If however you want an interesting light history of the rise of one of England's great noble families, this is a fine place to start.
Very interesting read 25 Mar 2014
By Cyndi Cyndi - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Very well written, enjoying reading this. I've read a lot of information in this book that I was not aware of about the Spencer family.
Interesting 30 Sep 2013
By K. Funk - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is interesting on many levels. It would probably have 5 stars, but i found myself skimming along in some places.
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