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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting personal account
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...
Published on 10 July 2007 by A. BUTTERWORTH

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3.0 out of 5 stars Its OK
The quality of the book received was good. However I was a little disapointed with the content - I thought there would be a bit more on the abdication and more focus on what it was like working for King George VI and his character. Having said that it was a good read.
Published 15 months ago by Joanne Burch


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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting personal account, 10 July 2007
By 
A. BUTTERWORTH (London, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: King's Counsellor: Abdication and War - The Diaries of Sir Alan Lascelles (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
4.0 out of 5 stars From within but maybe too discreet for our days - a testament of a by-gone time, 8 May 2008
By 
Amelrode (Vilvoorde) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, 24 Feb 2010
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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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3.0 out of 5 stars Its OK, 20 Sep 2013
The quality of the book received was good. However I was a little disapointed with the content - I thought there would be a bit more on the abdication and more focus on what it was like working for King George VI and his character. Having said that it was a good read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Public Service at its Best, 30 Jan 2013
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This review is from: King's Counsellor: Abdication and War - The Diaries of Sir Alan Lascelles (Hardcover)
Sir Allan does not dishonour himself or the King by disclosing that which should be secret but the book does illuminate the working of the wartime Palace.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A man of probity, 1 Nov 2011
This review is from: King's Counsellor: Abdication and War - The Diaries of Sir Alan Lascelles (Hardcover)
Like most people I had only a vague idea of what a Sovereign's private secretary did. This book answers that question completely. Definitely a right hand man and Chief of Staff. Alan Lascelles was perfect for this role. He knew everybody and obviously had the gifts needed for this hydra headed post. Discreet reliable and searingly intelligent he nevertheless maintained the strictest integrity in supporting George VI, the accidental king, in all the difficulties of the immediate aftermath of the abdication and the strain of war.

The diaries show a very different world with different values to our own and must increase our understanding and appreciation of the enormous debt subsequent generations owe to the likes of 'Tommy' and the king he served so faithfully.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent read, 13 Feb 2011
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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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