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Princes at War: The British Royal Family's Private Battle in the Second World War (Hardback)
  • Princes at War: The British Royal Family's Private Battle in the Second World War (Hardback)
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Princes at War: The British Royal Family's Private Battle in the Second World War (Hardback)

(author)
£25.00
Hardback 432 Pages / Published: 09/04/2015
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King George V predicted that his eldest son, Edward VIII, would destroy himself within a year of succeeding to the throne. In December 1936 he was proved right, and the world's press broke their Great Silence: King Edward VIII was abandoning his throne to marry Wallis Simpson, a divorced American socialite. A life spent in the shadow of his charismatic elder brother left the new king, George VI, magnificently unprepared for the demands of ruling the kingdom and empire; this would be a baptism of fire. Hitler's Third Reich was tearing up the old Kingdoms of Europe one by one, and the familiar contours of London were being transformed by sandbags. As Great Britain braced herself for war, the faltering new king struggled to manage internal divisions within the royal family and feared betrayal as intelligence mounted of the Duke and Duchess of Windsors' suspected treachery during the worst days of the war. Drawing on personal accounts from the royal archives and other new sources, Deborah Cadbury goes behind palace doors to uncover the very private conflict between George VI and his too charming older brother; a conflict so bitter it was unresolvable while they were both alive. Cadbury's intimate and gripping account of familial tensions amongst kings and princes, provides a unique look at one of the most turbulent periods in British history. Overcoming his stammer was only the beginning, and Cadbury goes on to reveal just what it took for George VI to rise to the challenge of leading his country during its time of greatest peril - and at what price.

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
ISBN: 9781408845240
Number of pages: 432
Weight: 811 g
Dimensions: 234 x 153 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
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 *
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 *

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