The Crown in Crisis

The Crown in Crisis

In December 1936, Britain faced a constitutional crisis that was the gravest threat to the institution of the monarchy since the execution of Charles I. The ruling monarch, Edward VIII, wished to marry the American divorcée Wallis Simpson and crown her as his Queen. His actions scandalised the establishment, who were desperate to avoid an international embarrassment at a time when war seemed imminent. That the King was rumoured to have Nazi sympathies only strengthened their determination that he should be forced off the throne, by any means necessary.
An influential coalition formed against him, including the Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin, his private secretary Alec Hardinge, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the editor of the Times. Betrayal and paranoia were everywhere, as MI5 bugged his telephone and his courtiers turned against him. Edward seemed fated to give up Wallis and remain a reluctant ruler, or to abdicate his throne. Yet he had his own supporters, too, including Winston Churchill, the Machiavellian newspaper proprietor Lord Beaverbrook and his brilliant adviser Walter Monckton. They offered him the chance to remain on the throne and keep Wallis. But was the price they asked too high? And what really lay behind the assassination attempt on Edward earlier that year?
Using previously unpublished and rare archival material, and new interviews with those who knew Edward and Wallis, The Crown in Crisis is the conclusive exploration of how an unthinkable and unprecedented event tore the country apart, as its monarch prized his personal happiness above all else. This seismic event has been written about before but never with the ticking-clock suspense and pace of the thriller that it undoubtedly was for all of its participants.
The Crown in Crisis is the definitive book about the events of 1936. Painstakingly researched, incisively written and entirely fresh in its approach, it will bring the events of that time to thrilling life, and in the process appeal to an entirely new audience.
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Genre: Humanities / History / Regional & National History / European History / British & Irish History

On Sale: 9th July 2020

Price: £20

ISBN-13: 9781474612579

Reviews

Excellent, well written, deeply researched, THE CROWN IN CRISIS is a dynamic revisionist history of the Abdication that brings to life a national and personal drama with a flamboyant cast of princes, charlatans, socialites, courtiers, press barons, politicians and adventurers that is both heartbreaking and glamorous, scholarly and very entertaining.
Simon Sebag Montefiore author of The Romanovs
Alexander Larman's well-researched and well-written THE CROWN IN CRISIS is both scholarly and highly readable. He has mastered the sources superbly, and his analysis of the extraordinary story is full of thought-provoking insights.
Andrew Roberts, author of Churchill: Walking with Destiny
Larman combines the personal with the political, high drama with low morals, to create a compulsively readable and comprehensive account. Anyone who wants to deepen their understanding of one of the key events of the 20th century, whose reverberations are still with us today, must read this engagingly fun and detailed book.
Anne Sebba
A completely fascinating and authoritative account of the Abdication Crisis, written with tremendous sophistication and insight.
William Boyd
Larman is an amiable and talented young writer ... rendered with brio and dispatch ... always interesting
David Aaronovitch, THE TIMES 'Book of the Week'
Larman's retelling zips along, infusing a well-known narrative with impressive suspense. His scholarly rummaging has turned up fresh insights, too, notably into the role played by MI5. An enduringly relevant chapter of British history, brought to life with panache
THE OBSERVER
forensically researched ... Larman has done a fine job of explaining the religious, social and political issues involved
BUSINESS POST IRELAND
The person we must feel most pity for, at the end of this great and well-told story, is Wallis Simpson .. she comes across as much more sensible and conscientious than Edward
THE OLDIE
A fresh look at a time of catastrophe for the royals, with new ideas about a plot to assassinate Edward VIII ... Larman shows a delicate touch too in not banging home the obvious contemporary resonances. Instead he lets us find our own fun
THE GUARDIAN
A gripping new book on the abdication crisis reveals how the ambitious former Champagne salesman wooed Wallis to ingratiate himself with King Edward VIII... fuelling rumours of an affair
DAILY EXPRESS
In this absorbing new book, Alexander Larman takes us through the whole, tangled story with great clarity.
READER'S DIGEST 'Recommended Read'
His friends loathed her. He fell out with his beloved brother over her. His sister-in-law couldn't stand her diva demands. And when Edward VIII relinquished his throne to emigrate with glamorous American divorcee Wallis Simpson, the very future of the British monarchy hung in the balance ... Alexander Larman brings together unpublished archive material and witness testimonies to reveal exactly what went on at the Palace - almost a century before 'Megxit'
DAILY TELEGRAPH
Documenting the personal and national reverberations of the love affair, it's an engaging, detailed, and suspenseful read; one that is equal parts empathetic and entertaining. You will be gripped.
THE INDEPENDENT
A sharply-drawn character study...an enthralling look at the abdication of Edward VIII...Larman charts the events of 1936 with a dynamic sense of drama...surely offers new insights into the episode
BBC HISTORY REVEALED MAGAZINE
Alexander Larman has done a thoroughly researched job in retelling this oft-told tale and has made some fresh discoveries that shed new light on the affair
Nigel Jones, BBC HISTORY MAGAZINE
Many of the central characters so vividly brought to life in Alexander Larman's The Crown in Crisis appear as if drawn from a period matinee at the Aldwych...Larman's account could scarcely have been better timed given the lamentations of Harry and Meghan...the achievement of The Crown in Crisis is to be both judiciously weighed and ceaselessly entertaining
THE CRITIC
[A] gripping day-by-day account ... compelling... You get the sense, from reading this countdown to the Abdication, that Edward was secretly enjoying every minute of the chaos and upset he was causing. By refusing to budge from his determination to marry Wallis Simpson, he was in a position of supreme power
Ysenda Maxtone Graham