The Crown in Crisis: Countdown to the Abdication by Alexander Larman
.PDF, 364 pages
Expected publication: January 19th 2021 by St. Martin's Press
About the Book:
The thrilling and definitive account of the Abdication Crisis of 1936. On December 10, 1936, King Edward VIII brought a great international drama to a close when he abdicated, renouncing the throne of the United Kingdom for himself and his heirs. The reason he gave when addressing his subjects was that he could not fulfill his duties without the woman he loved—the notorious American divorcee Wallis Simpson—by his side. His actions scandalized the establishment, who were desperate to avoid an international embarrassment at a time when war seemed imminent. That the King was rumored to have Nazi sympathies only strengthened their determination that he should be forced off the throne, by any means necessary. Alexander Larman’s The Crown in Crisis will treat readers to a new, thrilling view of this legendary story. Informed by revelatory archival material never-before-seen, as well as by interviews with many of Edward’s and Wallis’s close friends, Larman creates an hour-by-hour, day-by-day suspenseful narrative that brings readers up to the point where the microphone is turned on and the king speaks to his subjects. As well as focusing on King Edward and Mrs. Simpson, Larman looks closely at the roles played by those that stood against him: Prime minister Stanley Baldwin, his private secretary Alec Hardinge, and the Archbishop of Canterbury Cosmo Lang. Larman also takes the full measure of those who supported him: the great politician Winston Churchill, Machiavellian newspaper owner Lord Beaverbrook, and the brilliant lawyer Walter Monckton. For the first time in a book about the abdication, readers will read an in-depth account of the assassination attempt on Edward’s life and its consequences, a first-person chronicle of Wallis Simpson’s scandalous divorce proceedings, information from the Royal Archives about the government’s worries about Edward’s relationship with Nazi high-command Ribbentrop and a boots-on-the-ground view of how the British people saw Edward as they watched the drama unfold. You won’t be able to put down The Crown in Crisis, a full panorama of the people and the times surrounding Edward and the woman he loved.
This book was such an absorbing read even though it is non-fiction and I knew the story by heart. There are enough new details here that it kept me interested throughout. Larman’s wonderful writing and research really comes across and a great strength of this book is its use of a variety of sources. I really enjoyed how he set up each chapter with a different point of view, which I found very refreshing. I cannot recommend this book highly enough, where you are a royal watcher or not you will find this book interesting. My only criticism is that it had no photographs, but it conveyed quite a lot of information.
Thank you NetGalley, Alexander Larman and St. Martin's Press for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an impartial review; all opinions are my own.