Elizabeth the Queen

Elizabeth the Queen

The Life of A Modern Monarch

Book - 2012
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Random House, Inc.
In this magisterial new biography, New York Times bestselling author Sally Bedell Smith brings to life one of the world’s most fascinating and enigmatic women: Queen Elizabeth II.

From the moment of her ascension to the throne in 1952 at the age of twenty-five, Queen Elizabeth II has been the object of unparalleled scrutiny. But through the fog of glamour and gossip, how well do we really know the world’s most famous monarch? Drawing on numerous interviews and never-before-revealed documents, acclaimed biographer Sally Bedell Smith pulls back the curtain to show in intimate detail the public and private lives of Queen Elizabeth II, who has led her country and Commonwealth through the wars and upheavals of the last sixty years with unparalleled composure, intelligence, and grace.

In Elizabeth the Queen, we meet the young girl who suddenly becomes “heiress presumptive” when her uncle abdicates the throne. We meet the thirteen-year-old Lilibet as she falls in love with a young navy cadet named Philip and becomes determined to marry him, even though her parents prefer wealthier English aristocrats. We see the teenage Lilibet repairing army trucks during World War II and standing with Winston Churchill on the balcony of Buckingham Palace on V-E Day. We see the young Queen struggling to balance the demands of her job with her role as the mother of two young children. Sally Bedell Smith brings us inside the palace doors and into the Queen’s daily routines—the “red boxes” of documents she reviews each day, the weekly meetings she has had with twelve prime ministers, her physically demanding tours abroad, and the constant scrutiny of the press—as well as her personal relationships: with Prince Philip, her husband of sixty-four years and the love of her life; her children and their often-disastrous marriages; her grandchildren and friends.

Compulsively readable and scrupulously researched, Elizabeth the Queen is a close-up view of a woman we’ve known only from a distance, illuminating the lively personality, sense of humor, and canny intelligence with which she meets the most demanding work and family obligations. It is also a fascinating window into life at the center of the last great monarchy.

Baker & Taylor
A tribute to the life and enduring reign of Elizabeth II draws on numerous interviews and previously undisclosed documents to juxtapose the queen's public and private lives, providing coverage of such topics as her teen romance with Philip, her contributions during World War II and the scandals that have challenged her family. (This book was previously listed in Forecast.)

& Taylor

A tribute to the life and enduring reign of Elizabeth II draws on numerous interviews and previously undisclosed documents to juxtapose the queen's public and private lives.

Publisher: New York : Random House, 2012
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9781400067893
Branch Call Number: Biography EL4812sm
Characteristics: xxii, 663 p. : ill. ; 24 cm


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Feb 11, 2018

Sally Bedell Smith's has written an expertly crafted exhaustive biography about the life and reign of Queen Elizabeth II. It was published in 2012 and its narrative is up to the wedding of William and Kate (2011). I enjoyed the book on CD as it was beautifully read by Rosalyn Landor. The book is full or information, opinion and analysis. It is rich in detail, but is not dry. Without having a cheap tabloid feel at all the information provided is very interesting with a very personal and intimate flavour. Although the author clearly admires the Queen whole heartedly; she has not written a sycophantic ode. The author convinces us that the Queen has evolved and responded to changing circumstances and times over the course of her reign while still being a beacon of tradition. This book was clearly well researched.
I did not love everything about the biography. I personally could have done with far less detail about the Queen's interest in horse breeding and racing. The author’s flippant tone of acceptance of Prince Charles's adultery is disturbing.
I would highly recommend this biography. It is definitely a must for anyone who is enjoying the current Netflix production "The Crown".

May 09, 2017

Excellent. This is an extremely readable account of Queen Elizabeth's life from childhood to present, written in an even-handed style, and although it covers so much ground and such an enormous amount of history, the author has maintained an almost conversational style that keeps the reader interested.

Dec 29, 2016

Biased, but beautifully written. I did not know much about Queen Elizabeth prior to reading this biography. She is NOT a boring person!

athompson10 Jul 28, 2014

Well researched and very detailed, though it gets a little syncophantic in the last chapters summarizing the 2000s.

Jun 19, 2014

Elizabeth the Queen: The Life of a Modern Monarch is a very lovingly offered biography from an obviously biased author. Elizabeth the II has been reigning throughout a period of enormous change to the Commonwealth, to Britain and to the world, yet, for the most part this book dwells on the insignificant and trivial details of her life. That these details are well researched is important to note, but there was always a feeling that she was striving for the Queen’s approval in her final product.

Sep 20, 2012

really dry and kind of boring. thought the queens life would warrant a better read than this.

Jun 17, 2012

will recommend to my book club
As head of state the Queen has done invaluable diplomatic wonders not only for her own country but also for the world through her influence with the Commonwealth leaders.

Apr 15, 2012

Although she has been written about hundreds of times during her long 60-year reign, Elizabeth the Queen is an excellent overview of the life of Elizabeth. Since the author had access to materials and was able to spend time with the Queen and Prince Philip, Ms. Smith was able to introduce information never before published. She also highlights Elizabeth's great devotion to the crown, Great-Britain and the Commonwealth while giving the reader an honest look at the not always positive effect on her children. She does show, however, that Elizabeth has learned from past mistakes by being more human and flexible with her grand-children. Highly recommended in this year of her Jubilee.

Valerie J Fletcher Mar 02, 2012

This book was marvelous. Its hard to imagine anyone, male or female who has been in the same job for as many years as the Queen has been. The book really opened my eyes to her diversity and courage. I hold such respect for this woman.

debwalker Jan 09, 2012

Amazing reign. She's seen it all.


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