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King's Counsellor: Abdication and War: the Diaries of Sir Alan Lascelles Paperback – 17 Oct 2007


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Product details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Phoenix; New Edition edition (17 Oct. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0753822253
  • ISBN-13: 978-0753822258
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 15.5 x 3.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 558,505 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"This fascinating volume is as much a contribution to royal legend as to the history of the war." (KENNETH ROSE DAILY TELEGRAPH )

"Most - though by no means all - of the facts we know already: it is the angle from which they are viewed and the humour and intelligence of the observer which make these diaries both brilliantly entertaining and historically priceless." (PHILIP ZIEGLER THE SPECTATOR )

"Lascelles' diary - now expertly edited by Duff Hart-Davis - offers fascinating and hitherto unseen glimpses of some of the most significant figures of our age... however, none emerges more engagingly than the diarist himself." (JOHN ADAMSON SUNDAY TELEGRAPH )

"a biography of Sir Alan Lascelles, crafty manipulator, and clandestine homosexual, would be a fascinating book." (LITERARY REVIEW )

"sharply written diaries" (PAUL JOHNSON THE SPECTATOR )

"an elegant and precise diary... a revealing glimpse into the drawing rooms of the great during the years of crisis and victory... Lascelles was an excellent judge of character and posterity has almost always proved him right." (DOMINIC SANDBROOK EVENING STANDARD )

"offer genuine insights into the role of the King's adviser." (THE INDEPENDENT )

"What he has written might upset many of the royal inner circle, but is undeniably riveting reading." (THE RESIDENT )

"A great read, written with humour and elegance." (BELFAST TELEGRAPH ) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

THE RESIDENT

"What he has written might upset many of the royal inner circle, but is undeniably riveting reading." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A. BUTTERWORTH on 10 July 2007
Format: Hardcover
An interesting piece of history by a man who, as private secretary to King George VI, had close contact with everyone at the heart of the British government during the war years. The sub title "Abdication and War.." is, however, something of a misnomer. Although the text nominallly begins in November 1935, the diary proper starts in June 1942. The abdication is therefore only discussed in retrospect and lacks the immediacy of a contemporaneous account. Even so, many insights are given into the character of Edward VIII as well as a host of other well-known and lesser-known figures of the time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amelrode VINE VOICE on 8 May 2008
Format: Paperback
Tommy Lascelles served as private secretary to several British monarchs. His private diaries provide a revealing insight into the machinery of monarchy and the personalities therein. Including Edward VIII's abdication and Elizabeth II's ascension to the throne, Lascelles's diaries also cover crises, coronations and Princess Margaret's affair with Peter Townsend. They also bring to light how the House of Windsor operated during the Second World War.

So here are what a personality at the very center wrote down, but one have to bear in mind that he was raised in the grand tradition of the English Gentleman and royal coutier. So having seen it all does not necessarily mean write it down as well. Diaries are private, but a Private Secretary to the King or Queen is properly quite aware that one day his writings might be published. So one can not help to feel that too much is left out, being too discreet. But already this is initself interesting as it shows how much support, respect and protection the monarchs commanded. We are used to "kiss and tell" stories even from royalty themself. So it is in away a testament of a by-gone area. There are so few information on the abdication of Edward VIII that it is quite disappointing. Nevertheless, all in all worth a read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dr Colin Morris on 24 Feb. 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Alan 'Tommy' Lascelles writes entertainingly and vividly of several significant periods in the turbulent 1930s and 40s. As Deputy and then Private Secretary to the monarch he was at the heart of the establishment and was clearly expert at his job. He evokes the period vividly. He is also surprisingly witty and his dry outlook is treasurable
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By Cat on 13 Feb. 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a truly excellent book. Although it only covers in detail the period 1942-1946 'Tommy' Lascelles gives great inside into what went on behind thhe scenes during this period of history. His diary is written with a dry humour which even though his style is now dated, makes excellent reading; the diary has also been edited brilliantly by Duff Hart-Davis with footnotes giving brief details of the many names 'dropped' in the diary. Although the abdication crisis is only covered in retrospect Lascelles describes cogently why Edward VIII could not continue as King - and gives a revealing personal view of the man who gave up the crown. If only he had continued the diary later - and started it earlier! His style reveal a man with a true aptitude for writing - and I loved the little details, such as the difficulty in obtaining sock suspenders (when did they cease to be a vital accessory for a man about town?) and the demise of his much handed-down undergarment! I can thoroughly recommend the book, which is more readable than many novels.
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