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Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

The first truly candid portrait of George V and Mary - the queen's grandparents and the creators of the modern monarchy.

The lasting reputation of George V is for dullness. He was a crack shot and an outstanding stamp collector, but that's about it. The flamboyance and hedonism of his father, Edward VII, defined an era whose influence and magnetism is still felt today. The contrast between the two could hardly be greater.

But is that really all there was to King George, a monarch who faced a series of crises thought to be the most testing faced by any 20th-century British sovereign? As Tommy Lascelles, one of George's most senior advisors, put it: 'He was dull, beyond dispute - but my God, his reign never had a dull moment.'

Jane Ridley is one of the very finest royal biographers, celebrated for her immaculate research, highly entertaining style and piercing insights. How this supposedly limited man managed to steer the crown through so many perils and adapt a Victorian institution to the modern world is a great story in itself. But with it comes a riveting portrait of a royal marriage and family life that challenges myths and lets us see George, Mary and their children more fully and clearly than ever before.

George V was the queen's grandfather, and Jane Ridley takes right into the drawing rooms Elizabeth was born into. She brings us a royal family and world not long vanished and not so far from our own.

©2021 Jane Ridley (P)2021 Penguin Audio

What listeners say about George V

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Tough going..

Wanting to supplement my woeful knowledge of my own country's history I slogged through this book. The biggest drawback was the narrator, whose constant pauses, halts, and hesitancy completely altered the meaning of so many sentences. There was little flow at all....even sometimes stopping to decide how to pronounce words! And that smokers croake! This was my experience.

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A treat for republicans

Despite the astonishing deference of the introduction, this excellent biography confirms many negative views of monarchy: snobbery; ego; entitlement and so much more.
A wonderful expose !

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Excellent

Informative and enjoyable biography that is perhaps kinder to George V than some historians have been. Really a shared biography with Queen Mary to the end of their marriage on George’s death.

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A wonderful biography

I enjoyed listening to this biography of King George V. He is very often put down as grumpy and a bad father but this biography brings the more human family man side of him to light. Lots of very interesting and easily understood important historical events which help to understand his attitudes. I find Jane Ridley an excellent historian as a storyteller. The narrator Joanna David is first class.

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Enjoyable, very detailed

This is a long listen, some parts are very interesting, some I found not so, there's a lot of detail and it's very thorough. I like Joanna David's narration

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An interesting story spoiled by the telling

This could have been a very interesting account of the life of King George V. It contains many interesting anecdotes which help to understand the changing role of the monarch and the state of the country during his reign.
Regrettably, it is let down by the poor narration. It appears that the narrator has not prepared herself before recoding the book. Too many times, sentences are delivered with clearly erroneous emphasis on certain words or with breaks in the narrative where there should be continuity. I know that Ms. David is a fine actor and it is all the more disappointing that this was not her day.

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Brilliantly written and brilliantly read!

I so enjoyed this book. Jane brought King George and Queen Mary alive. I didn’t want it to end. Joanna narrated beautifully. I would, wholeheartedly, recommend this book.

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Excellent

A sympathetic account of his life that does him justice - and beautifully read too. Altogether a pleasure

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Fabulous!

Narrator was brilliant. I loved the book immensely! Very thorough in the history and it's accuracy.

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Enjoyed this

Full of interesting information about a man usual described as dull. So much I didn’t know and this book certainly held my attention. He was so right about Edward the eighth. Worth my time and credit.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-12-21

Captivating

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and the performance by Joanna David was wonderful as always. Highly recommended.