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The first truly candid portrait of George V and Mary -- the Queen's grandparents and the creators of the modern monarchy
The lasting reputation of George V is for dullness. He was a crack shot, and an outstanding stamp collector, but that's about it. The flamboyance and hedonism of his father, Edward VII, defined an era whose influence and magnetism is still felt today. The contrast between the two could hardly be greater.
But is that really all there was to King George, a monarch who faced a series of crises thought to be the most testing faced by any twentieth-century British sovereign? As Tommy Lascelles, one of George's most senior advisors, put it: 'He was dull, beyond dispute -- but my God, his reign never had a dull moment.'
Jane Ridley is one of very finest royal biographers, celebrated for her immaculate research, highly entertaining style and piercing insights. How this supposedly limited man managed to steer the crown through so many perils and adapt a Victorian institution to the modern world is a great story in itself. But with it comes a riveting portrait of a royal marriage and family life that challenges myths and lets us see George, Mary and their children more fully and clearly than ever before.
George V was the Queen's grandfather, and Jane Ridley takes right into the drawing rooms Elizabeth was born into. She brings us a royal family and world not long vanished, and not so far from our own.
© Jane Ridley 2021 (P) Penguin Audio 2021