Customer Reviews

21
4.4 out of 5 stars
George VI: The Dutiful King
Format: PaperbackChange
Price:£11.99+Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

51 of 52 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 6 February 2008
On this day in 1952 King George VI passed away. I thought it a good idea to read again his biography by Sarah Bradford.

George VI, The Queen's father, is often dismissed as a good but unremarkable man, overshadowed by his wife, the legendary Queen Mother.

Prince Albert, Duke of York, was only the second son of King George V and Queen Mary. From childhood he had been handicapped by low self-esteem and a severe stammer. As for the entire for four royal brothers (Edward VIII, and the Dukes of Gloucester and Kent) they did not have a happy childhood. He never expected to succeed and was set with his little family to lead the life of junior royals supporting the monarch and with age fading out of the limelight. Properly a life he would have loved. But life had more in store for him. When Edward VII dragged his family and country into the abdication crisis, the Duke of York found himself suddenly a very unwilling and scared head of state - 'How I hate to be King' - he often said. Yet in spite of all his disabilities he and his wife were hard-working, diligent and popular monarchs, leading Britain during the WW II. He made the monarchy stronger than ever and left the throne to his beloved daughter in perfect shape.

This exhaustively researched biography his life and character in depth, his role as King during a time of war, and the often bitter relationship with Edward VIII, who became Duke of Windsor after abdication, his relationship with Churchill, his wife and family. Above all she shows how he had to overcome himself. A man who was not easy but determined a man one had to love and admire. Maybe reluctant monarchs are the best as they are not too eager and see the duty and service than merely the privileges their position carry.

Sarah Bradford is one of the most talented biographers of our times and this proves it. She reveals the monarch George VI and private man Albert. She writes with discretion, but does not leave things out like his youthful affair with Phyllis Monkman. Her judgement is well balanced. It is a great book and which his daughter, the Queen, is said to keep on her desk. Well, whatever ... but I am happy to have this book in my library.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Warning: this review contains spoilers.

This is an excellent, well researched and organised biography - an engrossing read.

And yet, it lacks a certain critical bite. For example, the book ends abruptly with the King's death in 1952; there is no final analysis of his reign or achievements.

In many ways, the dominant personality in the book (as he was in George's life) is his brother, the Duke of Windsor. Bradford takes advantage of recent researches into the Abdication crisis, and we get a very full account of that event.

George's wartime partnership with Churchill is also well documented, though the post-war Labour government gets less attention.

Sometimes, Bradford is just too pro George - a little more distancing from her subject would not have come amiss. She may have been constrained by the fact that, at the time of writing, both his widow and daughter were alive.

Perhaps the time is not yet right for a properly objective biography of George VI. Until such time, this one will do very well.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 25 May 2013
After watching the film "The King's Speech" I was curious to know more about the life and personality of George VI so I decided to read this biography. It seemed complete and extensive. And it is indeed! It's a very detailed portrait of the King's life, from his birth (which coincided with the death anniversay of his great-grandfather, Queen Victoria's husband, and for this reason was not well "taken" by the Queen) to the last days of his life (and the cancer which consumed it). What emerges is a very humble person, who had been mistreated a lot, but still had never lost his good heart and love for the others.
It was very funny to read some passages, especially about his wife and interesting to know how Elizabeth met his husband, and what the King thought of him.
Too long in some passages, but still very interesting, especially in the parts about his brother, the former king, and all the possible theories which could be behind his abdication. Absolutely a must for "George VI's fans".
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 15 March 2013
King George VI should have had a much longer reign than he was ultimately to do. However, as we all know now, he was not meant to reign at all. In hindsight, we were actually ruled by the right man for the job.

Sarah Bradford's informative and well written biography of King George VI shows a man who was despite all the difficulties he had, the stammer and the nervousness due to bullying - that he triumphed over his adversities and gave us the Royal Family that we have been able to have today through his eldest daughter Elizabeth.

The Abdication is well documented here along with the angst and worry that befall Bertie (as he was known at this time) and Elizabeth who was definitely the right woman for him. Their courtship is also outlined and King George V has gone down in history as advising his second son "you'll be damned lucky if she accepts you".

Many people have said that Winston Churchill was the right man to lead Britain through the Second World War, after reading Bradford's biography, I believe that George VI was certainly the right man to be our King through these times. It is sad that he wasn't King into the 1960's as he would have ended up with the warm affection held by his father George V in his later years.

The period covered by "The King's Speech" is covered in not as large an area as it perhaps could have been but read this book and watch the DVD of that film and you get a flavour of what he was like as a man.

George VI was thrust into a position that he hadn't been groomed for, but he seemed to have an instinctive feel for what was right and proper - perhaps given the heady days of his brother's reign as Prince of Wales then as King Edward VIII, George VI probably felt that he had to steer Britain on an even path and this comes through beautifully in Bradford's book.

A longer reign than his Grandfather but not as long as his own father, George VI was definitely a good King and his place in history is secure - not just for the way that he represented Britain through the war years but also for the time before it and for the short period after it.

After reading this book, I was left with a sense of sadness that perhaps he felt his work was unfinished; but he made a very good King.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 28 March 2011
This book is extremely well written. I am amazed at the level of research that the author has undertaken. It has taken me some considerable time to read, as I like to look at all the detail. Excellent book, I feel that I really know KG6 now.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 13 February 2015
A most excellent read, the whole penguin series should be required ready of every sixth for student in the country. This is the ideal example,
Well do e Miss Bradford and Well Done Penguin

Tim Hollier
Mary Rise CoTtage
Wilcot
Wiltshire sn9 5Ns
Tim@atlanticscreengroup.coom
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on 16 August 2012
When he died in 1952, there was talk of naming George VI George The Good. With access to more records this biography written a few years ago goes into hisn life in greater detail than was previously available. The factual account of the time leading up to Edward VIII's abdication is fascinating and detailed and tyhe man who never wanted to be king is described as gaining some 'power' during his coronation that enabled him to carry on and lead us through world War II. Smoking and stress did take its toll and his death at a relative early age even for the 1950s launched the second Elizabethan Era. A good read with factual data.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 13 November 2014
Excellent! Easy to read and for the first time I felt sympathy for the man. He was a man who saw his duty clearly and the position he must take on, despite his personal feelings and fears.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 13 April 2014
A really good coverage about King George V!. Good historical account of the Abdication and the second world war. Book was easy to read as a hard-back copy must be very heavy to hold.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 13 April 2015
George VI seems the forgotten man. I had no idea what a difficult and brave life he had and brilliant job he did.
The most outstanding member of the royal family ever.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
     
 
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
George VI (Penguin Monarchs): The Dutiful King
George VI (Penguin Monarchs): The Dutiful King by Philip Ziegler (Hardcover - 4 Dec. 2014)
£8.79


King George V
King George V by Kenneth Rose (Paperback - 6 April 2000)
 
     

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.