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Behind the Throne: A Domestic History of the Royal Household Hardcover – 27 Sep 2018
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"This is the most interesting and informative book on British royalty for many years." (Sarah Bradford Literary Review)
"Behind the Throne, erudite and amusing, bulges with colourful scenes… glorious… a fun, elegant narrative." (Melanie Reid The Times)
"This book is a cracking read, packed full of stories which Tinniswood relates with verve and wit… Buy this book for Christmas and give it to all your non-republican friends." (Jane Ridley Spectator)
"Entertaining… superb… history needs anecdote to make us relate to it, something Tinniswood [does] brilliantly." (Daily Telegraph, Books of the Year)
"Adrian Tinniswood’s handsomely produced Behind the Throne is full of such pleasing details, as it takes us on a fascinating snoop into the studies, kitchens and bedrooms of various monarchs from Elizabeth I to the present queen… Tinniswood gets [the tone] just right, never overly deferential, but humorous and distantly respectful… Behind the Throne is a wonderfully entertaining account of life through five centuries of royal households." (Christopher Hart Sunday Times)
"Adrian Tinniswood's juicy new domestic history of the royal household… [is] delicious – as piquant as the green salad with which Edward VIII liked to eat his cold grouse." (Rachel Cooke Observer)
"Devoted watchers of The Crown will especially enjoy the nimble analysis of both the narcissistic Edward VIII’s brief reign and Princess Margaret’s doomed romance… this enlightening narrative allows the royal family mystique to disappear just a little." (Publishers Weekly)
"An intimate and entertaining look at the private lives of monarchs from Elizabeth I to the current occupants of Buckingham Palace… Deft, zesty social history." (Kirkus)
"If Downton Abbey showcases a well-oiled machine of domestic efficiency in an English estate, you might think the servants surrounding British monarchs would be held to an even higher standard of discretion and excellence. And, as historian Tinniswood warns, you’d be entirely wrong. The reality, as he explores in this diverting book covering the domestic life at court from Elizabeth to Elizabeth, is both much messier and incredibly interesting… This rare glimpse into royal households reveals the priorities and peculiarities of kings and queens." (Booklist)
"Tinniswood retells some of the best-known and best-loved episodes in British royal history… with elegance and wit… [and] based on extensive research." (Linda Porter BBC History Magazine)
About the Author
Adrian Tinniswood is the author of fourteen books of social and architectural history. His most recent book The Long Weekend, was one of the most critically acclaimed of 2016.
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The author focuses on the domestic staff who stage manage royal lives. There are grooms, clerks, washers, cooks, pages, chaplains, treasurers secretaries, and lord stewards. They cost a fortune. It is an erudite and funny book. His many tales of the past are often risible. It is more interesting about the staff of past monarchs than the antics of the present ones.
There is an Alice in Wonderland dottiness on most pages. The Queen Mother's drinking habits are fun. It is a very entertaining account of life through five centuries. In 1783, for example, Mrs Scott was paid £200 a year to act as a wet nurse to the Prince of Wales. He was 21. Security was dreadful in the past. Oddballs often just walked into the Palace. The tragic madness of George 111was a tragicomedy. His behaviour was at times was far worse and bizarre than that portrayed in films.
This is the most informative and interesting book on British royalty for many years. It is an easy read. Tinniswood shows how despite the ping years the business of looking after royalty has changed and yet in some respects remained the same. There are still women of the bedchamber, and a mistress of the robes.
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