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Duchess of York: The Selected Letters of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother: Part 2 (Counting One's Blessings) [Kindle Edition]

William Shawcross
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

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Book Description

‘Enchanting, often moving and sometimes hilarious’ Daily Mail

Full of wit, hilarity, acute observation and a deeply held sense of duty, the Queen Mother’s letters give readers a vivid insight into the person behind the public face.

Here, in her own words, is the young woman who, after a long courtship and two refusals, accepted the Duke of York’s proposal and, as his Duchess, brought a sense of ease and fun into the public and private lives of the Royal Family. We see her delight in her beloved daughters and her real anguish when she and her husband realized that he would become King because his brother Edward VIII was determined to abdicate.

‘The warm personality and humour of the late, much-loved Queen Mother shines through in her letters, as does her affection for all, whether below or above stairs’ Scotsman

‘Recaptures her effervescent charm, and the simple fact that she was a good egg’ Spectator

‘How one warms to her!’ Evening Standard

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An interesting read 8 Dec. 2013
By liz
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It was interesting to read her letters, but would have been much more interesting to read the bits edited out or those destroyed! However I accept that they are private letters and I did feel a little nosey reading them. In fact I do not think i learned any new facts about the history of the time, as it has all been published before in periodicals and Royal books. We do find out that early on she could be rather trivial and surprisingly imature, but there had been a horrible war and the need for all sections of society to be light hearted was undoubtedly important. Her fortunate upbringing to wealth allowed her to indulge in those pursuits more easily than one born in more humble surroundings. She does become far more aware of the difficulties being faced by people during the great depression following her marriage to Bertie.
I was surprised to note that after her marriage she never again addressed her mother in any maternal term such as Mama, but reserverd that for her mother in law. I did think she spent a lot of time 'buttering up' her mother in law, but there was a hint in one letter that this may have been a vehicle to keep her easier to handle.
I am sure at the end of the day Queen Mary must have been very glad to have her there and to be in a position to support Bertie after the abdication. Her people handling skills were a valuable asset to the survival of the Royal Family at that time.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Elizabeth 31 Jan. 2014
By Di McA
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I was a bit disappointed by this book. There was nothing to it. Childish letters saying .nothing of interest really.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars charming 12 July 2014
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interesting but well edited so if you are looking to find something you didnt know you wont find it here
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Fascinating insights into the life and thoughts of the Queen Mother indicating her intelligence and influence through a difficult time in our country's history.Whilst the letters were presented chronologically and were informative and interesting, there was a sense that
there could have been more! Nevertheless, enjoyable.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it 20 Jun. 2014
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I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book Elizabeth by William Shawcross. I have always been interested in Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother's childhood.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Such a normal girl! 2 April 2014
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The smiles this young girl brought to my face. Whilst many letters she wrote to her mother she could have been writing to her young best friend. She had various nicknames for her and as she said wrote a lot of nonsense to her. However most letters are to one of her government's, and she had several. They were best friends for many years. She told her all her secrets, her dreams, the soldiers who were getting over their injuries from WW1 at the castle in Scotland where she spent much of her time and which ones she fell in love with. As she got older she detailed her social life, the events she loved and the ones she would rather avoid. All examples that any of us would tell our best friend, & in detail!
This is the 1st of 4 books of letters written by Queen Elizabeth throughout her live. Well worth a read as I believe letters show the inner soul of a person. I NOW START ON BOOK 2 WITH GREAT INTEREST.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An inspiration to all widows! 6 Feb. 2014
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A wonderful insight to the Queen Mother and the special way she could write about deep things in a way thousands of widows could identify with - just lovely. Every widow should read it.
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Bought this and then was given the hardback edition.
Worrying that this history should come so cheap (59pence) in both formats, just under 12 shillings in very old money!
You don't need to be a "Royalist" or whatever the current term is to see the changes in the social and political climate of the late Queen Mothers lifetime.
Despite the editing, it gives a few new insights into the much published and rehashed life and times of the Queen Mum.
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