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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A 'Diamond' Book
In this the Queen's Diamond Jubilee year there will be many publications charting the life of the Queen. However, this book, I feel will stand alone and stand the test of time. Alan Titchmarsh has shown us his passionate loyality and affection for the Queen in a beautifully illustrated book which is divided into the 'decades'of her reign. It begins with a chapter about...
Published on 26 May 2012 by Gella

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mediocre - no real insight
I'm afraid that I found this book to be quite tedious, both in terms of content and the narration.

Firstly there were no real insights into the Queen or the Royal Family. All the material is just stuff that is quite common knowledge either through news reports or from the Queen's Christmas speeches. Whilst it is well written, I was disappointed with the...
Published on 19 Jun 2012 by Junior Hornet


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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A 'Diamond' Book, 26 May 2012
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In this the Queen's Diamond Jubilee year there will be many publications charting the life of the Queen. However, this book, I feel will stand alone and stand the test of time. Alan Titchmarsh has shown us his passionate loyality and affection for the Queen in a beautifully illustrated book which is divided into the 'decades'of her reign. It begins with a chapter about George VI, her grandfather and the abdication of her Uncle, the Duke of Windsor resulting her in father, the Duke of York becoming King. This is followed by chapters on her Accession, the Cornonation and then the decades up to the present day. Each decade is well illustrated with headings followed by bite sized paragraphs relating to each heading and subjects include family life, births, marriages and deaths as well as some lesser known facts about the Royal Household including the Ladies in Waiting, the Yeomen of the Guard and not forgetting the Corgi's who obviously play an intregal part in Royal day to day life.

In addition, inter-dispersed with all this are key points of interest within each decade such as the introduction of television to our homes in the 50's, the ending of sweet rationing by Sir Winston Churchill so that everyone could enjoy a bar of chocolate in celebration of the Queen's Coronation, the introuduction of the De-Havilland comet, Freddie Laker's Sky Train, the Miners Strike, The Suez Crisis and much more.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and completed it in one day - it was easy to read and I feel is far superior to many of the biographical books on the life of the Queen which can become so 'in depth' that you lose the concept of the sheer enjoyment of the book. This is what I experienced from reading this book - just pure, simple enjoyment - so for me Alan Titchmarsh has ticked all the right Royal boxes and has been 'jubilant' in his book to celebrate this, the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A delight in this 'Diamond' year., 14 Sep 2012
By 
FLB (England) - See all my reviews
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It was inevitable that in the year of the Queens Diamond Jubilee that there would be a glut of books on the subject, some obscure and some very in depth, this audio book hits the note perfectly for me at least. I have read some of Alan Titchmarshes' previous books and found the style a little hard going so I listened to this book with a little trepidation. I was very surprised, the audio book is not that in depth with facts and historical reference that it turned me off, the opposite applied. It hits just the right note of showing background events and how they related to the monarchy and visa versa.

The sections of the book cover the decades of her reign, taking us from the 1950's to the present day at a pace that is just right, showing the impact of world events i.e. the Suez Crisis and small details like interactions with Ladies in waiting, horse racing and the Queens beloved Corgi's.

If you even have a passing interest in the Royal family this audio book is worth the money, an easy and informative listen.

Well recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars good book, dreadful audio book, 15 Aug 2012
By 
Su (England) - See all my reviews
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Alan Titchmarsh is a self proclaimed HRH fan, and this comes across in his writing. Not only is he blatantly sycophantic, but he also plays the name dropping game - "When I was chatting with the Queen/ Prince X/Princess X/Duke X/DuchessX..." and so on. Once or twice per chapter wouldn't be too bad, but there are times that it seems to be in every paragraph.

A friend who was listening with me suggested turning it into a drinking game where every time Mr Titchmarsh name drops you take a swig - one problem is that at the rate Alan name drops means you will require a lot of drink.

The information he uses for his insights is (by his own admission) from second-hand sources, this is also known as "gossip". There has been a good level of research. This is proven by the amount of (what appears to be) copy and paste - padded out with speculation, guess work and gossip. How does he know what precisely was going through a particular individual's mind at a given time? Obviously he can't, but that doesn't stop him from putting words in their mouths and thoughts in their brains.

Mr Titchmarsh has also airbrushed over some of the more sensitive times and events in the Queen's reign, forever coming to her defence even when it isn't needed.

There is one other thing that baits me with regard to the way the book has been written. Mr Titchmarsh starts heading in one direction and then makes a detour somewhere else, leaving the listener wondering if he will return to the point he was originally making. These detours usually involve one (or more) of Mr Titchmarsh's reminiscences of when he talked to a given member of the Royal Family.

This is the review for the Alan Titchmarsh audio book "Elizabeth - Her Life, Our Times" and I have to say that, even though there are pdf files on the discs too look at, the "affect" of the lack of images which are available in the book may well have caused me to find the narration a little on the dry side.

Alan Titchmarsh reads the introduction and, unfortunately, sounds like he is reading it in the empty cellar. There is a distracting degree of hollowness and echo which diverts from what he is saying. His voice rises peculiarly as he starts some sentences then falls into a tedious drone. Fortunately he doesn't read the entire book and hands that duty over to John Telfer.

Telfer's sections have been read in a studio, so there are no hollow echoes, but there is an underlying vibration to his voice and I found listening to him quite tiresome. When the author and the narrator of an audio book both sound bored to tears it is never good.

The narrator of an audio book can make it or break it, and in this case the bored monotones of Mr Telfer didn't just break it, but stomped the pieces into the ground too. It was, however, the perfect solution to my insomnia (and I'm not joking). I put the disc in and the volume turned down low and the narrator's voice (and underlying deep vibration) sent me to sleep quite quickly.

I love history, even modern history so I thought that this would be a great selection for me. My first error was to choose the audio book version of this book; my second was to listen to it without reference to the actual book - to get the best from the audio book you need to look at the images in the physical book.

It is such a shame that I was left with such a low opinion of what should have been an interesting history of the Queen.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Our Queen, 23 July 2012
By 
B. Bello (Stourton) - See all my reviews
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Alan Titchmarsh - such a favourite with his easy style - is the author and part narrator of this CD set - and he makes the most of this opportunity to share his passion and respect for the royal family and of course in particular the Queen at such a significant time in her reign.

He follows the decades of the Queen's journey by creating a series of selective events which create fabulous `snapshots' of royal life which have such a personal feel. He also considers the way the Queen and the monarchy has had to adapt to keep up with a changing Britain which is really highlighted by the Queen's story.

A wonderful memento of this special and tireless Queens' reign - if you are a fan this double CD extravaganza is not to be missed!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very good history of the Queen's reign, 19 July 2012
By 
Andrew Kerr "Alabony" (Dunfermline, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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Alan Titchmarsh has produced a lovely book for the Queen's diamond jubilee - well-researched, and full of interesting facts. While the narration is very good, it's not excellent, and just occasionally I felt the tone of Titchmarch and John Telfer didn't quite match the topic. The other reason I've knocked a star off is because the book has so many beautiful photos in it, which personally, I think this audiobook really misses. Maybe that's harsh, blaming this format for not having something it patently can't convey, but what I'M trying to convey is that perhaps you should consider this when deciding which format to buy it in. Can't fault the quality of the content in the audiobook otherwise, though. Recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Really great gift for mums!, 16 July 2012
By 
avid british reader (united kingdom) - See all my reviews
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I made an early mistake not realising that this was a CD and not a book but all that aside I loved listening to it after my mum had many a happy hour listening to it-I am loving the renewed interest in all things Monarch right now and there is much forgotten information here to enjoy. Good.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mediocre - no real insight, 19 Jun 2012
By 
Junior Hornet "hornet123" (Derbyshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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I'm afraid that I found this book to be quite tedious, both in terms of content and the narration.

Firstly there were no real insights into the Queen or the Royal Family. All the material is just stuff that is quite common knowledge either through news reports or from the Queen's Christmas speeches. Whilst it is well written, I was disappointed with the content. In the introduction, read by Alan Tichmarsh himself, he readily admits that he has only spoken to the queen once and he is not putting any of what was said in the book.

The there is the narration. It would have been much more interesting if Titchmarsh had read the book himself but after his foreword, John Telfer takes over the narration and I'm sorry to say that I found his voice rather boring and monotonous (Sorry John but I say what I find).

Altogether mediocre at best.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A pleasant account of her majesty's life so far, 24 May 2012
By 
Thomas Pots "T Pots" (England) - See all my reviews
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Given the name of the author, I expected this to be a fawning bit of fluff - a vapid crowd-pleaser about how wonderful The Queen is, but I was happily surprised. Titchmarsh mentions the preponderance of biographies and speculative material about The Queen in his 11-minute e introduction, and thereafter leaves the narration to John Telfer.

The story begins when Elizabeth was just 11, when her uncle abdicated, thus propelling her onto the throne. It then dips back into her ancestry, before tracing the key moments of her life through her youth, war, her marriage in 1947, and so on to raising her own family. It makes a few diversions to the goings-on of her children, but tactfully steers a course wide of any unbecoming episodes, shall we say, and sticks to the positives. That's no bad thing, given that this is not intended to be a critique of the monarchy or The Queen, but I did find myself thinking now and then, `hold on mate, you've missed a bit there!' during the story.

It is a story familiar to most people and, while I didn't feel I learned a great deal from it, it was an enjoyable few hours of listening pleasure.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Admiring portrait of the Queen, 17 May 2012
By 
Don D (Manchester) - See all my reviews
I can honestly say I have little time for royal sycophants but Titchmarsh has presented a thorough view of the Queen. It's admiring (naturally) but has plenty of interesting information. QEII has served England loyally for many years and this kind of tribute is deserved. I'm happy to say it's not just a royal puff piece either, there is real content here looking at many aspects of her life.

I've made a point of avoiding royal bootlicking, as it strikes me as pointless, but here is a book which takes a good historical span without being too detailed. It's worth looking at for many reasons.

A lot of my reading time recently has been spent on work. This is one of the few leisure books I've read recently. The other was the completely different but extremely funny Sherlock Holmes and the Flying Zombie Death Monkeys, which is poles apart from this but did make me laugh a good deal. It has a few good jokes about Queen Victoria (tasteful-ish) but otherwise royal free. Quite a splendid read.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars syncophatic, 9 July 2012
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I thought this would be an unbiased book. I was disappointed. There was little that could have not been read by googling each subject of interest. Some interesting biographical notes. But just notes.
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Elizabeth: Her Life, Our Times
Elizabeth: Her Life, Our Times by Alan Titchmarsh (Paperback - 9 May 2013)
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