Queen Elizabeth, a Portrait of the Queen Mother

Penelope Mortimer, Author St. Martin's Press $0 (288p) ISBN 978-0-312-65984-4
Journalist and novelist Mortimer displays her not inconsiderable investigative skills in this biography of England's Queen Mother. Now in her 86th year, Elizabeth is entrenched in affection, admired for her projection of a maternal role and unfailing public amiability. Piercing the phalanx that guards this icon, interviewing those who speak but not for attribution and relying heavily on her own surmises, Mortimer presents a portrait of Elizabeth less bland than the public image. She begins with Elizabeth's Scottish debutante days when her winsome ways were ""irrestible to men,'' and shows that this queen's iron will made her reluctant king a credible leader. Not praiseworthy, according to Mortimer, is the treatment by Elizabeth of the Windsors, permanently estranging the royal brothers. This is biography with a bite that will pique royal watchers. Photos not seen by PW. (April 7)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1986
Release date: 01/01/1986
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