Queen Mary: The Official Biography Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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Audible Audiobook, Unabridged
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The official biography of Queen Mary, grandmother of the current queen, originally commissioned in 1959 - with a new foreword by Hugo Vickers.
When Queen Mary died in 1953, James Pope-Hennessy was commissioned to write an official biography of her - unusual for a queen consort. Queen Mary's life, contrary to popular belief, was essentially dramatic, and she played a far more important and influential role in the affairs of the British monarchy than her public image might have otherwise suggested. Using material from the Royal Archives, private papers, and Queen Mary's personal diaries and letters, Pope-Hennessy's biography was a remarkable portrait of a remarkable woman and received rave reviews across the press.
Long out of print, this new edition of Queen Mary will be accompanied by a new foreword from royal biographer and writer Hugo Vickers.
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|Listening Length||24 hours and 37 minutes|
|Author||James Pope-Hennessy, Hugo Vickers|
|Audible.ca Release Date||March 02 2021|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #68,027 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#266 in Great Britain History
#379 in Historical Biographies (Audible Books & Originals)
#775 in Royalty Biographies (Books)
Top reviews from Canada
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My complaint is aimed at the publisher who didn’t bother to reproduce the illustrations/ plates. This is made even more annoying by the fact that they didn’t bother to remove the references to the plates in the text.
Top reviews from other countries
I see that, understandably, some reviewers have remarked on the lack of exposition of QM's inner thoughts on the abdication and other events during her life. I suspect that is/was because QM wasn't one to reveal her innermost thoughts to anyone. So one can only speculate. Even her children had no real idea what her actual opinions were on any given subject, such was her iron reserve. Someone, not quoted in this biography because his diaries were not available at the time it was written, reported/described having a conversation with her as having a conversation with the North face of the Eiger. QM did not gossip, neither does her gracious granddaughter the present HMQ. The biography does explain/tactfully hint at the reasons for the reserve - it extended to her affection for King George.
The paperback does not have the photos from the hardback. I think this is a mistake. I'm in my 60s and wasn't born when these people were alive. Consequently I have no idea what they looked like, illustrations photos etc would have been very useful. Another of the reviewers of this book has suggested that a book could usefully be written solely on QM'S experiences during WW2 ( "so that's what hay looks like"). Sadly Sir Osbert Sitwell got there first, though the relevant part of his autobiography is long out of print, JPH lifted from it shamelessly. Most of the anecdotes about QM'S time at Badminton, including her awesome arrival at the head of a substantial parade of removal vans, come from Sir Osbert's book.
For all her wealth and privilege it is possible to feel sympathy for Mary; she was self-effacing and saw her role as being supportive to her husband - not an easy task - and though they clearly adored each other the stiffness and formality of their official lives was a huge strain.
What comes across is a woman driven by a sense of duty.
Her legacy and example to her granddaughter, our Queen, is clear.
For good and ill.