The Reluctant King: The Life & Reign of George VI, 1895-1952

Sarah Bradford, Author
Sarah Bradford, Author St. Martin's Press $25 (506p) ISBN 978-0-312-04337-7
Reviewed on: 05/01/1990
Release date: 05/01/1990
King George VI's ``great wartime partnership'' with Churchill, who ironically was very much his second choice for prime minister, helped sustain England through its darkest hour. An insecure man who approached his kingship with dread, he was forced as a child to become right-handed (he was born a leftie) and to wear wood splints on his legs to correct knock-knee. In this absorbing biography, Bradford ( Disraeli ) reveals the private side of a shy, beleaguered king who is often dismissed as a good but unremarkable man. She discloses his youthful affair with Phyllis Monkman, describes his historic visit to FDR in 1939, and provides a detailed account of his acrimonious running feud with his older brother, King Edward VIII (Duke of Windsor), who abdicated the throne to marry Wallis Simpson, whom George saw as a social predator. This exhaustively researched biography also gives a thorough account of Anglo-American cooperation to suppress damaging evidence of Edward VIII's prewar pro-Nazi leanings. Photos. (May)
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