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letters
British history

Counting One's Blessings: The Selected Letters of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother

 
 
Author
William Shawcross, ed.
Publisher FSG  
Format hardcover
Product Dimensions 9.25 x 6.25 x 2 inches
ISBN 9780374185220
Pages/Publication Date 666/2012
Daedalus Item Code 61236
This item is not available.
Description
Also the writer of the BBC television series Monarchy and Queen and Country, William Shawcross produced an enormously successful official biography of the Queen Mother, the mother of Elizabeth II. One of the great revelations of the book was the Queen Mother's insightful, witty private correspondence. She was a prolific correspondent, from her early childhood before World War I to the very end of her long life at the beginning of the 21st century, and here Shawcross presents a selection of her letters offering readers vivid and delightful insight into the person behind the public face.

"A fascinating, provocative first-hand glimpse into another world.... Perhaps the most endearing side of the collection is the sheer number of earnest thank-you notes, written for everything from gifts to visits, and a great many written to Elizabeth's mother-in-law, Queen Mary, with whom Elizabeth carries on a warm and intimate correspondence. Elizabeth clearly delights in her friends, and is charmingly quick to offer assistance, take an interest in others' lives, and have a laugh at her own expense.... Read [this collection] for the sheer entertainment value."—Atlantic

"With correspondents ranging from Kenneth Clark to Osbert Sitwell, as well as her parents-in-law, daughters and eldest grandson, the Queen Mother's selected letters—collated by her official biographer, William Shawcross—are seldom dull.... [The book] provides a study of maturing character against the background of great events.... However fluffy the Queen may have seemed when young, she proved her mettle in 1939–45. Her wartime letters, showing her abnegation, selfless duty and distress, make impressive reading. They reach, at moments, an eloquent intensity.... These letters exemplify the truth of a remark of [W.H.] Auden's. 'Be good and you will be happy is a dangerous inversion,' the poet wrote. 'Be happy and you will be good is the truth. Men often speak of their right to happiness. In fact, it is their only duty.' The Queen Mother saw happiness as a duty—not an entitlement—because it was her route to good works."—Times Literary Supplement

 
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