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Queen and Country Hardcover – 25 Apr 2002

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Hardcover, 25 Apr 2002
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: BBC; 1st edition (25 April 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0563537868
  • ISBN-13: 978-0563537861
  • Product Dimensions: 25.2 x 19.8 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,691,443 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

A remarkable story . . . engagingly told -- Jonathon Dimbleby, The Times

Excellent -- John Mortimer, Sunday Times

It is rare that 'tie-in' books for TV series have shelf lives much beyond the programmes they accompany, but here is one that will. -- The Sunday Telegraph

The BBC deserve great credit for producing such a sumptuously illustrated book . . . well-argued and impressively buttressed with sound historical commentary -- The Sunday Telegraph


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Format: Hardcover
Released in 2002 to commemorate the 50th year of Elizabeth II's accession to the British throne, this is an impressive-looking book at first glance. Initial impressions count, and those experienced here could not be bettered, the cover minimalist with a greyscale photograph of a highly attractive young monarch, the pages thick, lustrous, and adorned with large and glossy photographs.

I'm a republican at heart, so this choice of book ought to seem strange. Stranger still is that irrespective of my sentiments in this field, I'm a big fan of the Queen, and this book has done nothing to change my take there, save intensify it.

We're taken on a 77-year journey during the course of reading this homage, starting with a brief summary of Lilibet's childhood and the abdication of Edward VIII, at which point the child Elizabeth became an heir to the throne. It's telling that her younger sister, then aged six, responded "Poor you" when Elizabeth said that she would have to be queen some day.

Her father died prematurely. He passed away at the age of 56 whilst Elizabeth and her husband were on a tour in Kenya. His death marked an early end to freedom and liberty for her, as her life became one of protocol and, as she reminds us often, duty.

That is largely our lot for the biographical parts of the story, since the book details her kingdom over the 50 years of her reign.

We visit the pulling-down of the British Empire, the emergence of the Commonwealth, the economic misery and hostage-taking of the country by the unions of the 70s, the wholesale restructuring of the UK by Thatcher, the hostility of the press in the later part of the reign, DIANA, the misdemeanours of the other royals.
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