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on 17 February 2013
Informative interesting insight into the queen mother would recommend as an excellent book did not take long for me to read as could not put down
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on 2 May 2013
Any person of great letter writing ability should take time to read this marvellous account of Queen Elizabeth's friends , way of life and the tricks that were played on people wreak the fun side of Elizabeth .

Her fate , no matter what end it would be , was fullfilled to it's fullest .
She supported her husband through all the traumas of the war and her willingness and determination to stay in London was a magnificent show of defiance against the Nazies and this won the hearts of the British .

Sharcross has chosen well the letters that have mattered and ones that have shewn the full character of Queen Elizabeth .
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on 16 February 2013
I have only read as far WWII but it has been fascinating so far. I learned a lot of things I didn't already know about history.
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on 14 December 2012
Bought as a present for an avid royalist friend for her birthday. She absolutely loved it and couldn't put it down!!
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on 4 June 2014
My Darling Lilibet,

I can't tell you how touched and delighted I was to receive a copy of the wonderful book of my collected letters, and I do want to thank you for giving me such a charming and fascinating present. I find it very nostalgic looking through the pages, the years have flown by, and I suddenly remembered what it felt like when I drank all those cocktails before the war - it is all so long ago!

It was so heavenly being at Sandringham with you & Philip & the family at Easter, you were so angelic, & thoughtful, and I did so adore being with you. It is so curious that this is the only place where I can find any sort of peace of mind - I suppose it is because every brick is associated with happy memories, with corgis, and with horses.

Your delightful luncheon party was such a treat, and I could not have enjoyed it more. To meet dear friends in such an enchanting setting is ideal, and it was especially nice to see Tarquin, who is rather elusive these days.

With again all my most loving thanks for the wonderful book and for my heavenly week at Sandringham,
always your very loving
Mummy
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on 29 December 2012
One of the best books ever read about British Royalty. A truly inspiring and encouraging book. She was so much more beyond appearing beautiful and shaking hands with the crowds.
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on 31 March 2013
These letters reveal the influence of the Queen Mother on people and events throughout her long life and her caring concern for those who worked for her. Relatively uneducated by modern standards, the letters are beautifully written and really convey her wit, sense of fun and humour. The letters really demostrate her loyalty to her family and friends, her intense patriotism and intolerance of those who she considered fell short of her high standards - a fascinating insight into the character of the woman who was the power behind the Throne for so long
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on 4 November 2014
The late Queen Elizabeth's biographer returns with a volume of her selected letters, chosen from across the remarkable century of her life and eight decades in the public eye. The late Queen's wit, impish sense of humour and inimitably effervescent mode of expression come across alongside her steely determination, quick intelligence and pathological ability to avoid anything too unpleasant until the last possible moment. Some might want to know a little bit more about the Queen's views on her in-laws, namely the Duchess of Windsor and Princess Diana, but some of her letters, particularly those to her youngest daughter, Princess Margaret, were destroyed or lost shortly before the latter's death; she was intensely private. It is a shame for the historian, but hardly Mr Shawcross's fault that some of the "juicier" letters aren't there. Knowing Queen Elizabeth's aforementioned aversion to anything too unpleasant - bar the Second World War, where her letters are particularly moving and thought-provoking - it's also debatable about how much she would ever have confided to paper about either lady. Regardless, "Counting One's Blessings" is a beautiful book and a joy to read.
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on 24 January 2014
I was looking forward to this book as I didn't know a huge amount of the Queen Mother's life. Unfortunately this book does not really reveal much of the person behind the title - the letters included, while they reflect the wide range of her friends and acquaintances, and do demonstrate the close bonds within her family, don't provide a particularly deep insight - and so I found it a bit of an unsatisfying read.
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on 10 March 2014
It was fascinating to read the many letters contained in this book, but it seemed clear that they were heavily edited. Some of the more contentious issues and people were skirted around or omitted. But what was there revealed the Queen Mother as she has rarely been seen.
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