The Royal Forums Coat of Arms

Go Back   The Royal Forums > Royal Highlights > Royal Library

Join The Royal Forums Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
  #81  
Old 09-07-2010, 11:07 AM
Ducii's Avatar
Nobility
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: --, Czech Republic
Posts: 315
I started reading few days ago. It is very interesting, full of informations ...it is written very well, but I read it slowly. I'm not english-native-speaker so 1000 pages is a big amount for me:-D but I'm happy that I could have bought it in shop there not via the internet.
__________________

__________________
Ducii
http://monarchie.blog.cz
Reply With Quote
  #82  
Old 06-29-2011, 11:04 PM
Gentry
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Matawan, United States
Posts: 89
The biography was very informative and covered her entire life in great detail, but it was saddly lacking in those touching and funny annecdotes one so often hears associated with that great lady. A good biography should bear some resemblance to the person it is about, both in tone and span of life. There is some of the charm but none of the sparkle that the Queen Mother had in life within this very official biography.
__________________

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #83  
Old 07-04-2011, 11:21 PM
XeniaCasaraghi's Avatar
Heir Presumptive
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: 1729 Noneofyourbusiness Drive, United States
Posts: 2,369
I was skimming through the book and I didn't find it that interesting or worthwhile. It seems for such a long book and a long life; that the book is quite boring and doesn't give any worthwhile information.
__________________
Princess Grace, April 19, 1956
Princess Margaret Rose, May 6, 1960
Crown Princess Mette-Marit, August 25, 2001
Jaqueline Bouvier Kennedy, September 12, 1953
Countess Stephanie of Belgium October 20, 2012
Reply With Quote
  #84  
Old 07-06-2011, 03:04 PM
PrincessKaimi's Avatar
Serene Highness
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Hilo, Malibu, United States
Posts: 1,324
Wow, Xenia, I loved it - devoured it actually. I don't know her life well or at all, so I thought there was quite a bit of sparkle - and the biography kept to a path that allowed it to be acceptable to Royal family members (one can't expect a tell-all book to do that).

I thought it was highly interesting. I had no idea the Queen Mother had the role she did in nursing/helping WW1 wounded - or how her family got its reputation for running the kind of hospital/respite that they did.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #85  
Old 07-06-2011, 04:36 PM
IloveCP's Avatar
Heir Apparent
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Palm Springs, United States
Posts: 5,093
It was kind of a bummer that WWI was annonced on her 14th birthday.Not exactly a fond memory when you look back.And it was also very sad when her brother died in the war.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #86  
Old 07-08-2011, 03:28 PM
Elly C's Avatar
Royal Highness
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Worcester, United Kingdom
Posts: 1,912
I 've just finished reading the biography. I really enjoyed reading about her earlier years, but the chapters devoted to her life as the Queen Mother I found were rather bland - I lost the sense of the woman behind the State visits & many patronages. Like many have already commented in this thread, some of the major upheavals in more recent years are glossed over. I agree with pgm152 it is a "very official biography"
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #87  
Old 07-29-2011, 10:01 PM
Aliza's Avatar
Aristocracy
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Tel Aviv, Israel
Posts: 240
I hate to say it, but William Shawcross' biography of Queen Elizabeth is absolutely one of the worst I've ever read in that genre. While he provides much information and plenty of detail of a trivial sort - one finishes the very long book with no sense of the person behind the public image.

For example, he spends much time chronicling the intricate and lengthy courtship of the then Duke of York and Lady Elizabeth Bowes Lyon and how she kept refusing his proposals - but he never tells you much about why she hesitated and even more annoyingly says nothing about what made her finally say yes!

I have seldom been this disappointed in any book and reading is my main indulgence. I am just glad I was able to get it at the library instead of purchasing the heavy volume.

If anyone here has read Hugo Vickers' biography of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, I would much appreciate an opinion about it. Having read many Vickers' works before, I find it hard to believe it is not more incisive than Shawcross' bland, boring and court circular-like account of one of the most fascinating women of the twentieth century but I'd love some "reviews" before I go to the trouble of ordering it as these books are not easy to purchase where I live! Thank you.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #88  
Old 07-29-2011, 10:08 PM
Aliza's Avatar
Aristocracy
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Tel Aviv, Israel
Posts: 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zonk View Post
I have never read the Shawcross book but in books that I have read regarding the BRF, they make no mention of an actual proposal just rumours of one.
I just finished reading the Shawcross book and believe me, Zonk - you're not missing anything; it's easily the worst biography I've ever read, not to mention the hardest on the hands with its weight.

By any chance did you read the Vickers' biography of QEQM? I don't want to go through the trouble of ordering it if it's as bland as Shawcross'.

Now back to the thread topic; I was wondering if anyone knows the story behind Lady Elizabeth Bowes Lyon's childhood nickname of Buffy?
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #89  
Old 08-01-2011, 07:14 PM
XeniaCasaraghi's Avatar
Heir Presumptive
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: 1729 Noneofyourbusiness Drive, United States
Posts: 2,369
I'm reading Ann Morrow book on The Queen Mother from the mid 80s. Just started the book and so far it is ok. The 2009 biography I can never get my hands on at a library because it is very popular.
You know I have never heard of anything about Elizabeth's siblings after she got married and then eventually became Queen.
__________________
Princess Grace, April 19, 1956
Princess Margaret Rose, May 6, 1960
Crown Princess Mette-Marit, August 25, 2001
Jaqueline Bouvier Kennedy, September 12, 1953
Countess Stephanie of Belgium October 20, 2012
Reply With Quote
  #90  
Old 08-01-2011, 09:17 PM
Aliza's Avatar
Aristocracy
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Tel Aviv, Israel
Posts: 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by XeniaCasaraghi View Post
I'm reading Ann Morrow book on The Queen Mother from the mid 80s. Just started the book and so far it is ok. The 2009 biography I can never get my hands on at a library because it is very popular.
You know I have never heard of anything about Elizabeth's siblings after she got married and then eventually became Queen.
In the 2009 Shawcross bio, you're not going to find much about her siblings after marriage, either. As I posted on another thread, it is the worst biography I have ever read. An endless recitation of facts but very little about the whys behind the facts. For example, he spends much time on the chronology of the courtship between Bertie and Elizabeth, but never really gets into why she refused him so many times and even more frustratingly - he doesn't give one single word of explanation as to what changed Elizabeth's mind and why she did finally say yes to Bertie's proposal.

I knew very, very little more about QEQM after all of those pages that I didn't know before. As a matter of fact, I think the Morrow book is a better biography, especially when one considers the sources available to Shawcross in the Royal Archives and that he was not given a single restriction as to what he could write.

If you do read it, I'd be curious to hear your opinion of this book. I don't believe it is just my impression as on Amazon.com the reviews had many of the same complaints that I do - and I didn't read the reviews until after I read the book and formed my opinion. I'm trying to find someone who has read the Vickers book, also published after QEQM's death. It is rather hard to find here, though!
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #91  
Old 08-01-2011, 09:28 PM
XeniaCasaraghi's Avatar
Heir Presumptive
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: 1729 Noneofyourbusiness Drive, United States
Posts: 2,369
WoW! The 2009 book is nothing but facts recited? That sux because the book is so HUGE I expected facts along with explanations, opinions, personal POVs etc.
In the Morrow book, I believe the earliest chapter starts off with the author stumbling across Elizabeth II weeding her mothers garden. It is so adorable.
On the previous page an article about TQMs bad points was posted. I just want to say that as a black woman I can't fault Elizabeth for being racist, she was born in 1900 and I really wouldn't expect anything else from someone born at that time. I'm sure there were exceptions to racism and bigotry, but TQM seems to have harbored ideas the same as the majority when it came to minorities.
__________________
Princess Grace, April 19, 1956
Princess Margaret Rose, May 6, 1960
Crown Princess Mette-Marit, August 25, 2001
Jaqueline Bouvier Kennedy, September 12, 1953
Countess Stephanie of Belgium October 20, 2012
Reply With Quote
  #92  
Old 08-01-2011, 09:45 PM
Aliza's Avatar
Aristocracy
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Tel Aviv, Israel
Posts: 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by XeniaCasaraghi View Post
WoW! The 2009 book is nothing but facts recited? That sux because the book is so HUGE I expected facts along with explanations, opinions, personal POVs etc.
In the Morrow book, I believe the earliest chapter starts off with the author stumbling across Elizabeth II weeding her mothers garden. It is so adorable.
I really enjoyed the Morrow bio, too. To be fair to Shawcross, the letters he includes that were written by the QM as Lady Elizabeth Bowes Lyon are wonderful reading. It's a good biography up until she meets the Duke of York.

I was also curious to read about QEQM's famous relationship with her brother, David, but other than in childhood, David Bowes Lyon only rates one or two passing mentions after the Royal Wedding!

It is so long and very heavy, so I too expected a wonderful read and great new material. I'm going to try the Vickers book and see if that is any better.

IMHO, the biggest failing is there is just absolutely no indications on what made HM "tick"; nothing about her psyche, no penetrating insights as to HM's character, just very little about the person behind the public face other than endless comments on HM's "style of living" being Edwardian. I didn't need to read a book that long to figure that out!

I'm just really glad I didn't spend any money on it but waited for it to become available at the library.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #93  
Old 08-01-2011, 09:59 PM
IloveCP's Avatar
Heir Apparent
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Palm Springs, United States
Posts: 5,093
I think the reason why Shawcross did'nt explain why QM changed her mind about Bertie's proposal and,other things is,there is no record of her personal feelings.Shawcross wanted to keep the book acurate as possible and did not want to disrespect QM by putting his own words.We may never know what her personal feelings are about some things but,we should respect that since we would'nt like it if our lives were exposed to everyone.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #94  
Old 08-01-2011, 10:21 PM
XeniaCasaraghi's Avatar
Heir Presumptive
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: 1729 Noneofyourbusiness Drive, United States
Posts: 2,369
One reason Elizabeth said no to Albert was because she didn't want her life to be exposed to everyone. But 80% of her life was just like that especially when she became Queen of England. I just find it insane to write a 900 page book and provide nothing new about your subject; one job of a historian is to write and review the facts and when there is little to know information about a certain event to provide theories and speculation on what might have or did occur. To review a persons character and use that review to fill in some of the blanks. Usually there is not a definitive answer as to why something happened or why a person behaved in such a way, so the people researching them have to try to figure out the "why"; and from the reviews Shawcross just listed events and didn't tell a story.
I think the reason this official biography is so scarce, according to some, is because the author didn't want to offend the Queen; we will either have to wait a couple of more decades to hear the truth or wait until someone who isn't afraid of pissing off the royals to take a crack at writing a biography.
__________________
Princess Grace, April 19, 1956
Princess Margaret Rose, May 6, 1960
Crown Princess Mette-Marit, August 25, 2001
Jaqueline Bouvier Kennedy, September 12, 1953
Countess Stephanie of Belgium October 20, 2012
Reply With Quote
  #95  
Old 08-01-2011, 11:08 PM
Aristocracy
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Somewhere, United States
Posts: 151
It figures this would be my first post. I found this place because of my interest in and respect for George VI after watching The King's Speech. (That being said, as a history major, I've always been interested in how the monarchy shaped history- in particular England and Russia.)

That being said, I flipped through the Shawcross bio at the bookstore the other day and was also struck by his lack of conclusions as to why QEQM said "no" several times and what made her change her mind. That's what I'd been looking for!!lol

Still, I did glean some interesting info, having read through the letters:

** QEQM's family was reticient about her marrying Royalty (I believe her mother, specifically) because of all she'd give up--though her family adored Albert. IIRC, QEQM also addresses the freedoms she was giving up.

** They stayed friends AFTER she said "no"--and she seemed to REALLY want that. Interesting. She wasn't ready to say "yes", but she couldn't let go or really push him to move on either. She let him just keep coming. (And it doesn't seem to me that respect for his status drove that either.)

**This is obvious, but, he just wouldn't give up!! Very persistent young man when it came to knowing what he wanted. He seemed to know they'd make a good match, and all evidence of their life together suggests he was correct.

** There is no evidence at all that the Duke's family pushed her to say "yes". They seemed to stay out of it.

**She had plenty of other wealthy, desirable suitors should she have chosen one of them.

**She constantly speaks of being very "happy" once the decision is made-and admits to being surprised that she'd made it.

Maybe she just had trouble settling down. It certainly seems that she wasn't ready to commit to living such a public life. Also, due to the Duke's shyness, I suspect getting to know him took some time. But, that's conjecture.

I read somewhere that the first time that he proposed to her that he did it via someone else per family tradition, and that was a reason she said no the first time. I don't know if that's "fact", but I know I've read it somewhere. Evidently, later QEQM wrote to a friend of the Duke's thanking him for his advice to propose in person.

While all of this doesn't explain exactly what was going on, it does provide SOME answers as to what the issues were--and what they were not. I doubt we'll ever know it all.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #96  
Old 08-02-2011, 12:44 AM
Aliza's Avatar
Aristocracy
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Tel Aviv, Israel
Posts: 240
Welcome to the Royal Forums! I, too found my interest in Royalty emerge from my studies of history.

That said, having read every last word of the Shawcross biography twice I definitely think Shawcross came to different conclusions from some of yours listed above.

1)Elizabeth Bowes Lyon's mother was actually "for" the match; very much so and even refers to it as a "dream" when corresponding with Mabell, Countess of Airlee. (This surprised me, too.)

2)While they did remain friends after the rejection of his proposals - Elizabeth wrote to the Duke and told him that she should have realised he would see their continuing friendship as encouragement and she didn't want him to be further hurt.

3)I agree that her Mother did not interfere much at all, but my impression is that Elizabeth knew this match would please her parent.

4)You're absolutely correct; Lady Elizabeth had the pick of almost any eligible man in Britain! What a tribute to her charm, beauty of character, and loveliness!

5)I saw how Shawcross discussed her happiness after she changed her mind; my problem is that as he had unrestricted access to the archives - it was important to dig and discover (as much as possible) the REASON Lady Elizabeth changed her mind. (Did you catch the part where Lady E writes in a letter that she doesn't think she is capable of falling in love?) Very interesting stuff that Shawcross could have pursued, IMHO.

6) I think Shawcross did a good job on the point of Lady E's reluctance to lose her more casual and fun-loving lifestyle. If you noticed in my posts about this I have noted the best work Shawcross did was from Lady E's birth up until the engagement and marriage. After that, the public image prevails to an extraordinary degree for an official biography. Even much older authorised biographies such as Harold Nicolson's of George V and Wheeler-Bennet's of George VI were able to penetrate their subjects psyche to a good extent and one feels an understanding of both monarchs upon completing the respective books.

I'll be very curious as to your opinion when you read the whole book, if you decide to pursue it. As noted above, I'm looking to the Vickers' biography to see if there is a more complete portrait of one of the most fascinating women of the last century. I would also recommend the bio by Penelope Mortimer, though it lacks the usual respect one becomes accustomed to in Royal biographies. Mortimer at least asks the hard questions even if her answers don't always seem to ring true to me, but that is a very personal opinion.

Good to see another historian here! Do you have any particular interest in other members of the BRF outside of George VI and his Queen Consort?
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #97  
Old 08-02-2011, 12:48 AM
Aliza's Avatar
Aristocracy
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Tel Aviv, Israel
Posts: 240
For an older biography, but one that "takes the gloves off" a bit, try Penelope Mortimer's bio of QEQM; I believe it was published in 1987 or 1988. If you are interested and have trouble finding it, send me a personal message and I will find my copy so I can give you the exact title. Mortimer certainly wasn't afraid to offend anyone, and even went too far, IMHO - but with all the hagiography surrounding the QM, it's valid to look for a more critical work to balance out the picture.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #98  
Old 08-02-2011, 12:56 AM
Aliza's Avatar
Aristocracy
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Tel Aviv, Israel
Posts: 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by IloveCP View Post
I think the reason why Shawcross did'nt explain why QM changed her mind about Bertie's proposal and,other things is,there is no record of her personal feelings.Shawcross wanted to keep the book acurate as possible and did not want to disrespect QM by putting his own words.We may never know what her personal feelings are about some things but,we should respect that since we would'nt like it if our lives were exposed to everyone.
I certainly would never want an official biographer to put words in his or her subject's mouth but I do think part of good biography is revealing the inner person, as much as possible. IMHO, Shawcross didn't even try. As QEQM was a prolific letter writer and very open in her letters before her engagement - I think he could have done a better job in this department.

Interestingly enough, George VI specifically told his Queen that his diaries, upon his death, were to be relegated to the Royal Archives and NOT made available to historians and biographers. The interesting part is this: In one of the very few times, QEQM disregarded her husband's wishes and allowed his biographer complete access to all of his diary as she felt it was important for the British Public to see the inner man. Therefore, I don't think HM would have had a problem with those parts of her life being exposed since she recognised the importance of portraying the "man behind the King" during the writing of George VI's biography. Of course, that's just my opinion and I could be very wrong!
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #99  
Old 08-02-2011, 02:10 AM
Aristocracy
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: colchester, United Kingdom
Posts: 194
Aliza, IIRC, Mortimer was the first author to reveal an iron fist beneath the velvet glove-it caused quite a furore when it was first published. To my eternal regret, I gave away several Royal biogs to my local village fete, I hope whoever bought them enjoyed them as much as I.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #100  
Old 08-02-2011, 05:34 AM
Aliza's Avatar
Aristocracy
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Tel Aviv, Israel
Posts: 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tsaritsa View Post
Aliza, IIRC, Mortimer was the first author to reveal an iron fist beneath the velvet glove-it caused quite a furore when it was first published. To my eternal regret, I gave away several Royal biogs to my local village fete, I hope whoever bought them enjoyed them as much as I.

I'm glad to know I wasn't the only one who appreciated Mortimer's work. One has to admit; there have been many sugary skims over the top of QEQM's life in the guise of biography and while I understand the reason for the furore when Mortimer published, though I did not agree with it, there has to be some balance introduced for the sake of historical scholarship if for no other reason.

The lady is dead now and can not be hurt anymore. As Shawcross emphatically states he was given no parameters (in his words, "on the contrary, I was encouraged to write exactly what I wished") and as he had unfettered access to the Royal Archives, there just doesn't seem to be any reason for the type of hagiographical biography he produced!

While I'm waiting for the Vickers' book, I am going to reread Mortimer; maybe between Mortimer and Shawcross I can get more of a sense of who this lady was when the doors closed and she was alone....

Thanks, Tsaritsa, for reminding me of how enjoyable Mortimer's bio truly is.
__________________

__________________
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Queen Margrethe II Jewellery Josefine Royal Jewels 471 12-06-2014 01:33 PM
Avatars and Fan Art of the Moroccan Royal Family Humera Royal Family of Morocco 119 11-16-2014 03:59 PM
Diana's relationships with The Queen and other members of the Royal Family Beck Diana, Princess of Wales (1961-1997) 355 11-04-2013 09:29 PM
The Duchess of Cambridge's Daytime Fashion Part 7: March 2012 - April 2012 iceflower Archives 393 04-27-2012 02:10 AM
Prince Harry to visit Belize, Jamaica, the Bahamas, and Brazil, 2-11 March 2012 wbenson Prince Harry and Prince William 211 03-16-2012 04:44 PM




Popular Tags
belgium brussels carl philip charlene chris o'neill crown prince frederik crown prince haakon crown princess mary crown princess mette-marit crown princess victoria current events engagement fashion genealogy germany grand duke henri hohenzollern infanta sofia jordan king carl xvi gustav king felipe king felipe vi king harald king juan carlos king philippe king willem-alexander letizia luxembourg nobility official visit olympics ottoman pieter van vollenhoven poland president hollande president komorowski prince albert prince albert ii prince carl philip prince daniel prince floris prince pieter-christiaan princess aimee princess alexia (2005 -) princess anita princess beatrix princess charlene princess laurentien princess madeleine princess margriet princess marilene princess mary princess mary fashion queen letizia queen mathilde queen maxima queen paola queen rania queen silvia queen sofia royal royal fashion russia sofia hellqvist spain state visit sweden the hague wedding winter olympics 2014



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 02:26 AM.

Social Knowledge Networks

eXTReMe Tracker
Powered by vBulletin
Copyright ©2000 - 2014
Jelsoft Enterprises

Royal News Delivered to your Email!

You can get the latest Royal News right in your inbox.

unsusbcribe at anytime with one click

Close [X]