cover image Elizabeth the Queen: 
The Life of a Modern Monarch

Elizabeth the Queen: The Life of a Modern Monarch

Sally Bedell Smith, read by Rosalyn Landor. Random House Audio, , unabridged, 17 CDs, 21.5 hrs., $45 ISBN 978-0-307-93417-8

Bedell’s biography charts the life of Queen Elizabeth II, from her youthful receipt of the title “heiress presumptive” and first love to her ascension to the throne and transformation into England’s current monarch. Rosalyn Landor narrates in a light, authentic British accent. Her pace is steady and her tone appropriately soothing throughout. And while this meticulously researched biography doesn’t offer the narrator an opportunity to produce many character voices, she nonetheless turns in a winning performance. Additionally, Bedell reads the book’s brief preface, explaining—in her American accent, which, to a certain degree, casts her as an outsider—her lifelong fascination with Elizabeth and determination to make the iconic and enigmatic queen both human and accessible. A Random House hardcover. (Jan.)