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George VI: The Dutiful King Kindle Edition
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Top customer reviews
Sarah Bradford does a fantstic job.
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.
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".
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.
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