Shop now Shop now Shop now See more Shop all Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More DIYED Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Shop now Shop now Shop now

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
145
4.3 out of 5 stars
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

on 21 July 2011
Considering my usual fodder is murder mysteries and thrillers, I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I'd certainly admit to being a royalist, and wasn't sure whether this would be any good but it's well written, totally unpretentious and an excellent read. Not a huge tome like some of the 'Royal' books and no major revelations but very good all the same - I thought the postscript from the author mentioning how she had seen The Kings Speech film was a lovely touch too. Highly recommended.
0Comment| 45 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
VINE VOICEon 26 July 2011
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The most remarkable feature of Margaret Rhodes's life, as she would certainly agree, is her relationship to the Royal Family; niece to Queen Elizabeth and therefore cousin to the Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret, both friends from nursery days onwards. Her own life, however, which includes a wartime spell in MI6 while living as a guest at the Palace, is certainly not without considerable interest in its own right. This vivid, conversational, unselfconscious account of life within the royal circle offers no scandalous, malicious or shocking revelations, but lots of captivating detail. She describes with affection the sheltered yet curiously down-to-earth life of the Scottish aristocracy, living it seems almost entirely out of doors, heavily dependent on shooting and fishing for entertainment and pathologically averse to printed matter in any form. Her own triumphs with gun and rod are related with innocent pride, and her account of married life in post-colonial (and sometimes dangerous) Africa and slightly less dangerous Devon with frankness and warmth. In her later years, widowed and, for someone in her position, not well-off, she becomes a Lady-in-Waiting to the Queen Mother. Stories of everyday life at Clarence House will delight ardent royalists, as will the generous selection of personal and family photographs, many of which provide informal and charming portraits of the author's aunt and cousins. Now in her mid-eighties, it is no surprise to learn that Margaret Rhodes is convinced that the last great adventure is still to come; apart from the undeniable privilege into which she was born she seems to have been blessed with a brave heart and a happy disposition. My only disappointment is that the book, at 152 pages, is too short.
0Comment| 61 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 3 August 2011
Before page ninety-one , The Final Curtsey, although very amateurishly written, was quite sweet; an insight into the aristocratic world of the long -ago past and of the more recent present, written by a elderly lady...... then comes THAT passage on page ninety-one.

The Toffs were in the middle of a dinner party when the cowman's wife sent word, so inconveniently, that her husband had suddenly died. The bereaved lady asked twice for the personal help of the author's husband, which he declined. How very amusing the guests found it!

A direct quote:-
"The whole macabre sequence was unbelievably funny and our rather ribald weekend guests were convulsed." She goes on to say how amused the Queen Mother herself would have been had she been present.

Well, I ain't laughing.

With those callous comments, Mrs Rhodes forfeits the right to our forbearance and patience with her amateur efforts to be an author. Her very short book is a sad commentary on the attitudes of the leisured, under-educated class to which she belonged.

Perhaps not Mrs Rhodes's fault, but Umbria Press clearly cannot afford the services of a proof reader....mistakes abound.
44 comments| 31 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
VINE VOICEon 31 July 2011
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Margaret Rhodes has spent her entire life staying, playing and curtseying with and to the Royal Family, so her knowledge of their lives (public and private) is vast and intimate. She has had an independent and fruitful life outside of her Royal Family, and paints a colourful picture of both. Chronologically the book falls short and is in itself very short indeed, totalling 152 pages, but fans of the Royal Family will enjoy Margaret Rhodes' tales of a life spent upstairs and downstairs
Dont expect any shocking or intimate revelations the author is loyal to her Royal friends and family, and this is anything but a "kiss and tell all" kind of book. But it still includes a few "unknown", if not shocking, glimpses of the Royal characters' sense of humour and private personalities.
The core of the book, I believe, is the authors absolute respect and devotion to her Royal relations, a fact that has had an obvious influence over what is included in the book, and perhaps more importantly, what is not. A pleasant read, if not an intimate and revealing one.
11 comment| 13 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 11 August 2011
On the strength of an excellent write up in The Telegraph and being a keen royalist I purchased this book. What a waste of time! It is poorly written and I found frankly rather self indulgent. Having finished shortly before this the wonderful 1000 page biography on Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, this book came in at what I had expected to be a good complement on sharing a little more about this wonderful woman. The reality couldn't have been more different.

It is written as though for children and I found nothing new within its pages. Perhaps if I wasn't well read already about the Royals I may have found it more satisfying. Firstly, I had never expected a slim volume, large print and very little content. The book can easily be read in an hour or two. I finished it feeling I had learned little apart from what appeared unfortunately as if the writer was trying to make the most of her connection with Royalty. I don' believe this was her intention but comments like 'I didn't see the need for education as I was already well read' seemed a trifle bizarre.

Ultimately it was a massive disappointment and grossly overpriced. I am not suprised in the slightest to find it has already been drastically reduced.
0Comment| 20 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 27 December 2013
I found this book very disappointing. I usually enjoy books about the Royal Family and expected this one to be better than it was. However it was too short and it felt very rushed as if the author had just carelessly chucked a few stories down on paper.

The passage on page 91 (mentioned by another reviewer) shows an unfortunate attitude to the servants. This could have been a good book but if feels as if the author either couldn't do it or couldn't be bothered.
0Comment| 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 7 September 2011
I regret to say that I found this rather disappointing. The author had known the Queen Mother all of her life and I felt that there was not a great deal of information in the book. So much has been written about QEQM that I thought this would give a real insight into a very important lady; it did not. The book is rather thin and I felt it was written in a 'school-girlish' style. I am not sure it is good value for money.
0Comment| 12 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 4 November 2014
This book will be enjoyed not just by those interested in the current Royal Family, but by anyone who enjoys memoirs as a genre or has an interest in social class and sense of identity. Pithy, witty, affectionate and often very funny, it chronicles the world best symbolised by the author's inimitable aunt, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, perfectly and brings the story up to do date with the marriage of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in 2011. "The Final Curtsey" is light, fascinating and hugely enjoyable.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 9 August 2015
What an interesting life this lady has had! This is a straightforward account of a selection of events from her life. The tone is direct and no-nonsense. Rhodes relates several anecdotes about the royal family, but there is no sensationalism, and the overall effect is that the reader feels that they have learned more about the personalities involved without their privacy being violated. The author has shared her family history, but the reader does not feel as if he/she has intruded. A nice balance, I feel.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 20 February 2014
I quite enjoyed this book to begin with. But after a few chapters it became rather monotonous in the fashion it was written in, and therefore boring. It could have been a great book if the author had better descriptive abilities. I am afraid I never finished reading it.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

Sponsored Links

  (What is this?)