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The Crown in Crisis: Countdown to the…

The Crown in Crisis: Countdown to the Abdication (édition 2021)

par Alexander Larman (Auteur)

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Titre:The Crown in Crisis: Countdown to the Abdication
Auteurs:Alexander Larman (Auteur)
Info:St. Martin's Press (2021), 352 pages
Collections:Votre bibliothèque

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The Crown in Crisis: Countdown to the Abdication par Alexander Larman


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5 sur 5
I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Crown in Crisis: Countdown to the Abdication by Alexander Larman. This extensively researched biography of King Edward VIII’s abdication read like a fiction novel with its political drama, conspiracy theories, and forbidden love affair. I eagerly returned to the book nightly as it held my attention from beginning to end.

I’m no expert on British history, but The Crown in Crisis felt solidly researched to the point it could serve as an educational or informational resource. I appreciated that the author disclosed that he has “little sympathy for Edward VIII” (p. xvii), but still gave an objective narrative of Edward VIII and his actions, both positive and negative. I could have gone without all the details on Wallis Simpson’s sexuality in chapter one, but I understand the reason for its inclusion. I occasionally had to refer to the list at the front to remember who a character was.

In conclusion, The Crown in Crisis by Alexander Larmon taught me much about Edward VIII’s abdication as well as British royalty. The book stoked my curiosity to learn more about Edward and Wallis’ post-abdication life. Five stars.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this product via the Amazon Vine program. All opinions in this review are my own. ( )
  BeautyintheBinding | Sep 3, 2021 |
This book chronicles the reign of Edward VIII and the circumstances that led up to his abdication. It is filled with details of the events from various points of view - the King, Wallis Simpson, and numerous courtiers. Yes, the information is well delivered bringing the reader to the events.

However, it got to be extremely tiring to be constantly looking up words because it seemed the writer was trying to either give the reader a vocabulary lesson or he was trying to show off his own vocabulary. Maybe there should be a limit to the 5 syllable words in any book, but definitely a limit on each page. Fortunately, I had an e-book were I could automatically click on the word and get a definition. Foreign phrases were also very prevalent. Once I would look up the definitions insert those to the sentence the book moved along, however, the constant lookup caused the book to read extremely slow.

Informative, well-researched, but not well-written. ( )
  cyderry | May 9, 2021 |
"The Crown In Crisis" presents a well-researched, readable work about the abdication of King Edward VIII from the throne of England, in order to continue his association with the American divorcee Wallis Simpson. The author includes historical content to further explain the political and world situations that were occurring at the time. Part drama and part history, the book will provide an intriguing read for those interested in history and the royal family.

I received this book from the publisher and from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The opinions expressed here are entirely my own. ( )
  LadyoftheLodge | Feb 3, 2021 |
The short reign of England's King Edward VIII lasted less than a year. It began in January 1936 when his father, King George V died, and it ended abruptly early that December, when his younger brother took the throne as King George VI. This book is a brisk fascinating narrative account of the controversy which ended Edward's reign, mostly his plan to marry a married American woman, Wallis Simpson. He and Simpson had been more or less living together for several months even before he became king. They embarked on a scandalous Adriatic cruise in the summer of 1936. The British press knew about these dalliances but was silent about them, leaving most of the English people in the dark.

The book reads like fiction, even though it is based on actual events. While the whole year is covered, the last few days of the Edward's reign is described in breathless detail, drawing upon contemporaneous diary entries of people involved in events. Even though the ultimate outcome is known to most readers, you are drawn step-by-step to the story, wanting to know what happened next.

It is not a hagiography as are many accounts of the British royals. Edward is shown as a tragic figure, selfish and shallow, rejecting his family and the throne for Wallis Simpson. The trouble with Edward was brewing for a long time, even while his father was still living. He was unsuited to be king and there was some suggestion when he was Prince of Wales that it would be best if he would fall off his horse (and die) before he could come to the throne. There was a mysterious attempt on his life in the spring of 1936 (while he was king) that is suggested to have some connection to the British secret service. There is the view that his younger brother (the future King George VI) was favoured to be king, even by George V and Queen Mary, the parents.

This author is more balanced in his views of Simpson than others have been. However, he casts doubt on whether she really loved Edward at all. At least, she was not obsessed with him to the extent that he was obsessed with her. Simpson is a mystery woman: stirred strong reactions: like or hate. In the first chapter, the author recounts the Nazi designs on the potential future queen, who was being wooed by Hitler's ambassador to Britain, von Ribbentrop. There is also the concern that Edward had pro-Nazi sentiments. Many in the British aristocracy (e.g. Lady Cunard) were sympathetic to the Nazi cause out of a fear of communism. There is no strong sense about what the man in the street thought about the King and Mrs. Simpson.

Aside from Edward and Wallace, several key people stand out. An out-of-power maverick politician, Winston Churchill was a firm supporter of Edward. Walter Monckton, Edward's lawyer, was loyal to him throughout the whole time. Press barons like Lord Beaverbrook rattled around in the background, eager to eventually use Edward's story to sell newspapers. British Prime Minister Baldwin was tireless in his efforts to resolve the looming "crisis", to save his government.

Edward's story was playing out as World War II loomed at the horizon. The struggle over appeasement was soon to take centre stage. In the end, Britain got a stronger king in George VI, which is probably a good thing. Edward's sole impact on events seems to be his abdication. This book is not a magisterial tome of the life and times of Edward VIII; the time following his abdication is left for other writers.

Recommended reading for fans of the British royalty as well as those interested in the interwar years.

I requested and received a complementary advanced reading copy of the eBook from the publisher St. Martin's Press, via Netgalley. The comments about it are my own. ( )
  BrianEWilliams | Jan 18, 2021 |
You see, the man is mad. MAD. He could see nothing but that woman.~Prime Minister Baldwin quoted in The Crown in Crisis

Drawing from newly released archival sources, interviews, letters, and diaries, here is the full story of Edward VIII whose love for American divorcee' Wallis Simpson caused him to give up the throne, threatening the stability of the British government and the monarchy.

Edward was charming and beloved by the common people, but he preferred pleasure to work and freedom to upholding the narrow conventions expected from a monarch. He had no intellectual interests, no Christian faith (although head of the state church), and hated the drudgery of being a monarch.

Readers learn about Edward's personality and weaknesses, his gay life and affairs, and how Wallis came to be his obsession.

The British newspapers would not publish stories about Edward's affair with the married Wallis. The couple took a pleasure cruise across the world with friends, the foreign press filled with photographs and stories about them.

Wallis found herself trapped by Edward's compulsive addiction, trying valiantly to talk him out of his determination to marry her if her divorce was granted. He was too powerful, and he would not listen to her pleas, and the divorce and the abdication went through.

The once-king lost his homeland, his property, his power, and his family to gain the woman he loved. Wallis was imprisoned in a marriage she had hoped to avoid.

In that moment, I realised how heavy was the price I had paid... Edward VIII quoted in The Crown in Crisis

This is more than a love story, more than a history of a deeply flawed man. It tells the story of a government in crisis, struggling to deal with the most unexpected challenge. It is riveting as history, and disturbing as a portrait of a self-centered leader who put the personal above their duty to nation.

I received a free egalley from the publisher through NetGalley. My review is fair and unbiased. ( )
  nancyadair | Nov 17, 2020 |
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