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Princes at War: The British Royal Family's Private Battle in the Second World War Hardcover – 9 Apr 2015
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Impeccably researched, and written with all the brio and understanding of a major historical novel, Princes at War takes us intimately and even shockingly into the human dynamics of a barely functional family at the time of our greatest peril - David Kynaston, author of Austerity Britain
A moving and deeply researched account ... Her story is gripping, illuminating and generous in its recognition of the central, dramatic role of the monarchy in Britain’s finest years, and particularly the quiet heroism of King George VI - William Shawcross, author of The Queen Mother
Gripping ... One of the most riveting tales of the nonfiction season, rendered with novelistic drama but deliberate detachment. The inner tensions of the palace during wartime and the inner tensions of a remarkable family make for one of the best, and ultimately most uplifting, stories of the war years - The Boston Globe
What makes this biography so extraordinary is that Cadbury has carefully plotted a timeline, placing each person, and each event in context, building a clear, concise and riveting web of stories into a wondrous book -Macleans
Meticulous and measured analysis of the Windsor saga … Hovering over the drama is the question of whether the Windsors endangered the monarchy itself at a perilous time in history. The strenuous attempts to suppress sensitive files touching on the collaboration between the Windsors and the Nazis reveal the anxieties at the heart of the British establishment … Cadbury deftly weaves the stories of the royal dukes into the unfolding national crisis as appeasement gives way to war … [She] covers the war years – Dunkirk, the Blitz, the Normandy invasion – in moving detail
- Wall Street Journal
Does the author provide a fresh and original view of the Duke of Windsor? Slightly to my surprise, my answer to this question must be “Yes” … Princes at War is a well-researched and entertaining account of a particularly poignant period in history … Cadbury writes uncommonly well and her book is definitely worth reading **** - Philip Ziegler, Daily Telegraph
What happened next? After the abdication of Edward VIII, the crown passed to his reluctant and painfully shy younger brother, George, and the royal 'firm' was faced with the task of putting together again the shattered shards of monarchy. This was no easy task given the disparate personalities and life styles of the royal brothers as this this fascinating, detailed and often surprising book reveals - Juliet Gardiner, author of The Thirties
The contrast between the two brothers – one dutiful and earnest struggling to deal with the responsibilities that had been forced upon him, the other blithe and solipsistic – is drawn with great dramatic effect in Princes at War … Deborah Cadbury combines the family drama against the backdrop of the war with terrific narrative verve - Daisy Goodwin, The Times
Cadbury has given it all a fresh analysis, cleverly unveiling in much detail the deep anguish of the brothers. This is a highly readable and finely written account of the drama which threatened to bring king and country crashing down. Only stammering Bertie emerges as a hero - daily Express-daily Express
Thrilling ... Cadbury artfully captures the exhilaration of Operation Dynamo at Dunkirk … The devastation of the London blitz, and the suspenseful planning and execution of the Normandy invasion. Her nuanced exploration of the king’s reticent temperament and the psychic toll taken by his many troubles creates a fuller picture of the man, who was destined to lead during a “spectacular downfall” in British power - Publisher's Weekly
Princes at War takes up the story where the film The King's Speech ended as king and country are plunged into the Second World War and the greatest crisis in modern timesSee all Product description
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This book uncovers new material; interesting that there are pictures of consent to tap the Kings phone line, monitoring calls both within the UK and abroad. The social and political inter cores between King Edward VIII and his German relations appears much closer than the British public ever imagined. Press control and censorship has always been present, but looking through contemporaneous reports of the impending abdication and later events, it's easy to see how the media controlled controversial news and manipulated public opinion.
I've always found it difficult to understand how the great British public was able to 'forget' that the 'Royal' family is basically German. Along with many European Royals. Queen Mary, I recall, spoke with a guttural and distinct German accent. This book, with helpful family trees and a wealth of new material, gives an interesting insight into a dysfunctional family, their squabbles, constraints and a few hidden gems about peccadillos. Very rewarding and I've enjoyed this fresh take.
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