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Counting One's Blessings: Selected Letters of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother [Unabridged] [Hardcover]

William Shawcross
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
RRP: 25.00
Price: 10.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

11 Oct 2012

One of the great revelations of William Shawcross’s official biography was the Queen Mother’s private correspondence. Indeed, The Sunday Times described her letters as ‘wonderful ... brimful of liveliness and irreverence, steeliness and sweetness.’ Now, drawing on the vast wealth of material in the Royal Archives, at Glamis Castle, and elsewhere, Shawcross has put together a selection of those letters. A prolific correspondent from her earliest childhood to the very end of her life, her letters offer readers a vivid insight into the person behind the public face.

Full of wit, hilarity, acute observation and a deeply held sense of duty, Queen Elizabeth’s letters constitute a chronicle both of her long life and of the twentieth century.


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 688 pages
  • Publisher: Macmillan; 1 edition (11 Oct 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0230754961
  • ISBN-13: 978-0230754966
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 16 x 6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 130,866 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"Has any previous collection of letters spanned Queen Mary, Eleanor Roosevelt, Benjamin Britten and Norwich City Football Club? . . . Here is a fluent narrator who, despite frequent grumbles about journalists, would have made a very good one with her natural eye for the telling detail . . . There are countless fresh insights . . . an enchanting, often moving and sometimes hilarious canter from the Great War to the new millennium with a rider who refuses to slow down" --Daily Mail

"We get her take on two world wars, the abdication, the premature death of her husband and the marriages of her daughters and grandchildren . . . there is something to be said for reading the Queen Mother in her own words, which are embellished with copious capitals, exclamation marks and underlinings" --Sunday Times

"How one warms to her! . . . Precocious historian; shrewd literary critic; discerning gastronome: so much more than a nice old doll in a hat."
--Evening Standard

"Have letters from the same person spanning 92 years ever been published before? . . . The Queen Mother was a leading example of the type that scarcely exists today - a highly intelligent, well-connected woman . . . Such women were often well educated by governesses and well-read . . . they wrote with modesty, precision, spontaneity and with kindness and wit . . . Queen Elizabeth spots small things . . . She can move from the big to the small in a way that illuminates both" --Daily Telegraph

"This book will revive you from any recession blues." --Readers Digest

"These letters have been discreetly and tastefully selected."
--Times

About the Author

Born in 1946, William Shawcross is an internationally renowned writer and broadcaster and appears regularly on television and radio. His articles have appeared in leading newspapers and journals throughout the world. He lives in London.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for any royal enthusiast 11 Nov 2012
By Ilana
Format:Hardcover
I am only half way through this book, and am truly amazed by the editing and presentation. William Shawcross has done an amazing job of selecting and annotating and commenting on the vast correspondence the Queen Mum wrote during her long and colourful life. The letters she wrote to her parents-in-law - George V and Queen Mary - are themselves a testament to who she was and to her special character. Many letters I have read 2 or 3 times, to fully understand her ability to touch different people in a unique way. Truly amazing and a must read. Congratulations to William Shawcross for bringing these letters to print.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Biography 23 Nov 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is the best biography I have ever read. It should be compulsory reading for schools, our children would gain knoowledge in this country's history.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Turns out she was quite witty 12 Nov 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Lovely private history of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother. Turns out she was funny ! who knew ! Forgot how much influence she had during the war in her support of the King. Enjoyable read with occasional need for tissues.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Girlfriend Happy 8 Feb 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I got this as a gift for my girlfriend for Christmas as per her request, she had flicked through it in a bookshop and since reading has told me it gave her an insight into not only the Queen Mother but the Royal Family as a whole that she never knew existed, i would on her recommendation say to anybody that you will not regret buying this book to see just how human the family are despite what some may think.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Royal Mum brought into our homes 25 Jan 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book brought the sense of the real person, youth, Humour, Loss and Love. The letters are so thoughtful that it is easy to see the moments as they appear to Elizabeth, to travel with her throughout her life. Feeling the highs and lows as she did, the worries and the Joys. This is a book that shows us that above all else, the Royal Family are people like us, with a different life style obviously, but which at the end of the day are A Family!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good 17 Feb 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Informative interesting insight into the queen mother would recommend as an excellent book did not take long for me to read as could not put down
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Counting One's Blessings 16 Feb 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have only read as far WWII but it has been fascinating so far. I learned a lot of things I didn't already know about history.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Counting one's blessings 14 Dec 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Bought as a present for an avid royalist friend for her birthday. She absolutely loved it and couldn't put it down!!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars I was very disappointed that it arrived without any dustcover so I...
I was very disappointed that it arrived without any dustcover so I just have a boring old looking book to add to my bookcase once read.
Published 6 days ago by Alison Wilkinson
4.0 out of 5 stars A heavenly collection of letters
My Darling Lilibet,

I can't tell you how touched and delighted I was to receive a copy of the wonderful book of my collected letters, and I do want to thank you for... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Dr Konrad Schneckenhauer
5.0 out of 5 stars Letters written by the Queen Mother
Enjoyed the letters written by the Queen Mother, very interesting and what a sense of humour this Lady had. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Yorkshire Lass
4.0 out of 5 stars Counting One's Blessings
Touching, enlightening, often extremely funny, and a much more extensive 'selection' than I had anticipated, it has been a privilege to be allowed to read these lovely letters.
Published 3 months ago by AnnieC
4.0 out of 5 stars The Queen Mother in her own words
It was fascinating to read the many letters contained in this book, but it seemed clear that they were heavily edited. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Mathlady
4.0 out of 5 stars A really interesting read
This is one of those genuinely interesting books, great for fans of the Royal family as even the most ardent fan will probably learn a few things they didn't know before. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Sarah
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit disappointed
I thought this would be a marvellous read, and some people might think it is, but for me it was disappointing, rather repetitive, and I couldn't get into it at all.
Published 5 months ago by Ed
4.0 out of 5 stars Book
I bought this Book ages ago and I have to confess that I have not as yet read it but know that I shall enjoy it once I get round to it. It had very good reviews. Read more
Published 5 months ago by mrs s walsh
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightfull book
Five stars for such a wonderfull read, the Queen Mother was obviously a lovely lady inside & out, witty funny & caring.I have bought this book for friens & family
Published 5 months ago by sheila odell
3.0 out of 5 stars No real sense of person...
I was looking forward to this book as I didn't know a huge amount of the Queen Mother's life. Unfortunately this book does not really reveal much of the person behind the title -... Read more
Published 6 months ago by traveller
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