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Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother: The Official Biography by William Shawcross

Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother: The Official Biography

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This is a great record of an extraordinary and long life which spanned the twentieth century. The author was given unrestricted access to the Queen Mother's papers, including many of her letters, and has put them to good use in this engaging biography. A must-read for anyone interested in the Royal Family.

The Good Book Guide logo The Good Book Guide Review. The late Queen Mother enjoyed a long and fulfilled life that spanned the entire 20th century – a time of profound cultural and political change. Born Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes Lyon, youngest daughter of the Earl of Strathmore, from the start she was the star of the family – a charmer with ready grace but no airs, one who wasn’t afraid of getting her hands dirty. When she became Duchess of York it seemed she had scaled the heights, but her greatest years, as Queen and then Queen Mother, lay ahead. William Shawcross has drawn on the Queen Mother’s private letters and other unpublished documents from the Royal Archives. He portrays a glamorous, spirited and kind woman with a passion for duty.


Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother: The Official Biography by William Shawcross

Written with complete access to the Queen Mother's personal letters and diaries, William Shawcross' riveting biography is the truly definitive account of this remarkable woman, whose life spanned the twentieth century. Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes Lyon, the youngest daughter of the Earl of Strathmore, was born on 4 August 1900. Drawing on her private correspondence and other unpublished material from the Royal Archives, William Shawcross vividly reveals the witty girl who endeared herself to soldiers convalescing at Glamis in the First World War; the assured young Duchess of York; the Queen, at last feeling able to look the East End in the face at the height of the Blitz; the Queen Mother, representing the nation at home and abroad throughout her long widowhood. 'This splendid biography captures something of the warm glow that she brought to every event and encounter. It also reveals a deeper and more interesting character, forged by good sense, love of country, duty, humour and an instinct for what is right.


'This is a wonderful book, authoritative, frank and entertaining' - Daily Telegraph

About the Author

William Shawcross became a writer after leaving University College, Oxford in 1968. He was in Czechoslovakia during the Soviet occupation; this inspired his first book, a biography of Alexander Dubcek, the Czechoslovak leader, which was published in 1970. In 1995 he wrote the BBC Television series Monarchy. In 2002 his BBC Television series and book, Queen and Country celebrated the Queen’s Golden Jubilee and examined the changing face of Britain during her reign. He lives in England.

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Book Info

Publication date

2nd July 2010


William Shawcross

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Pan Books an imprint of Pan Macmillan


1120 pages


Biography / Autobiography
eBook Favourites

Biography: royalty

20th century history: c 1900 to c 2000



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