Counting One's Blessings

William Shawcross

Counting One's Blessings

One of the great revelations of William Shawcross’s official biography was the Queen Mother’s private correspondence. Indeed, The Sunday Times described her letters as ‘wonderful ... brimful of liveliness and irreverence, steeliness and sweetness.’ Now, drawing on the vast wealth of material in the Royal Archives, at Glamis Castle, and elsewhere, Shawcross has put together a selection of those letters. A prolific correspondent from her earliest childhood to the very end of her life, her letters offer readers a vivid insight into the person behind the public face. 2.8 out of 5 based on 4 reviews
Counting One's Blessings

Omniscore:

Classification Non-fiction
Genre Biography, Essays, Journals & Letters
Format Hardback
Pages 524
RRP
Date of Publication October 2012
ISBN 978-0230754966
Publisher Macmillan
 

One of the great revelations of William Shawcross’s official biography was the Queen Mother’s private correspondence. Indeed, The Sunday Times described her letters as ‘wonderful ... brimful of liveliness and irreverence, steeliness and sweetness.’ Now, drawing on the vast wealth of material in the Royal Archives, at Glamis Castle, and elsewhere, Shawcross has put together a selection of those letters. A prolific correspondent from her earliest childhood to the very end of her life, her letters offer readers a vivid insight into the person behind the public face.

Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother by William Shawcross

John Crace's Digested Read | Guardian

Reviews

The Mail on Sunday

Craig Brown

Her single-minded pursuit of jollity makes reading this vast selection of her letters a slightly sickly affair, like being force-fed Violet Creams.

06/10/2012

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The Times

Iain Finlayon

These letters have been discreetly and tastefully selected. They establish a firm, feminine, fun-loving character and cause no embarrassment to the self-regard of the nation state and no upset to the received version of official history. In his preface, indeed, Shawcross states: “I can only hope that this book truly displays the great loves — for God, for family, for Britain and for life — which, from first to last, inspired Queen Elizabeth and her writing.” In this, he succeeds admirably.

27/10/2012

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The Sunday Times

Peter Conradi

Some of the best bits have already been used by Shawcross in his voluminous 2009 biography, yet there is something to be said for reading the Queen Mother in her own words, which are embellished with copious capitals, exclamation marks and underlinings ... Anyone looking for the Queen Mother’s opinion on the multiple travails of the royal family in the 1990s will be disappointed, though.

07/10/2012

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The Evening Standard

Jane Shilling

… the Queen Mother seems to have had little natural gift for writing ... Of course, her letters are of intense interest to historians, but for a general reader, the flavour of this vast correspondence is rather like that of vanilla blancmange: sweet, pleasant, but cloying in quantity.

25/10/2012

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