December 1936. The King of England, Edward VIII, has given up his Crown, foregoing his duty for the love of Wallis Simpson, an American divorcee. Their courtship has been dogged by controversy and scandal, but with Edward’s abdication, they can live happily ever after.
But do they? Beginning his astonishing biography at the moment most turn away, bestselling historian Andrew Lownie reveals the dramatic lives of the Windsors post-abdication. This is a story of a Royal shut out by his family and forced into exile; of the Nazi attempts to recruit the Duke to their cause, and of why the Duke, as Governor of the Bahamas, tried to shut down the investigation into the murder of a close friend. It is a story of a couple obsessed with their status, financially exploiting their position, and manipulating the media to portray themselves as victims.
The Windsors were, in their day, the most glamorous exiles in the world, flitting from sumptuously appointed mansions in the south of France to luxurious residences in Palm Beach. But they were spoiled, selfish people, obsessed with their image and revelling in adulterous affairs. Drawing upon hitherto unexplored archives, Lownie shows how their glittering, brittle world was riddled with treachery and betrayal, and why the Royal family never forgave the Duke for choosing love over duty.
Meticulously researched * Spectator * Briskly written and compulsively readable...Does Andrew Lownie persuade me that it is worth telling the story again, and that he has made out the case for his unforgiving title? The answer is an unambiguous yes. -- A.N. Wilson * TLS * Entertaining... convincing... timely. Urgent reading for royals * Evening Standard * Darkly compelling...hundreds of eye-popping details...Gripping though it is, this is an unrelentingly damning portrait of the Windsors * Daily Mail * Compelling... a devastating portrait of the duke and duchess... a timely point of comparison when set against the ongoing trials and tribulations of the House of Windsor * The Tablet * Lownie reveals Edward not as a dupe of the Nazis, but an active and culpable collaborator...The list of individuals interviewed and archives consulted is formidable. The more impressive then, that this is a wonderfully readable and succinct story * BBC History Magazine * Thoroughly researched and compelling narrative of one of the most controversial periods in royal history. -- Andrew Morton Andrew Lownie has a remarkable ability to fashion a compelling narrative from raw archive text and personal reminiscence. His Traitor King (Blink, GBP25), about the Duke and Duchess of Windsor and their questionable cohorts, is every bit as absorbing as his earlier history of the Mountbattens. -- Andrew Lycett, Spectator Books of the Year 'definitively answering some of the enduring mysteries ...Lownie fearlessly yet fairly provides the answers. Lownie appears to have red every book ever written about the Windsors and drilled deep into unpublished archives as well...Lownie has dug into the couple's complex love lives just as deeply...The full ghastly truth about them has remained obscure until now, partly thanks to a judicious cover-up by the British Establishment...' -- History Today Meticulously researched and with so much new material on one of the most controversial Royals of the 20th century. Lownie reveals shocking new aspects to the life of Edward, Duke of Windsor, and firmly placed the Duke as a traitor to his country. -- Aspects of History this "explosive new royal biography" (front-cover blurb) by the highly regarded author of books about Guy Burgess and the Mountbattens,.. a biographer as serious and scholarly as Andrew Lownie ...Lownie gives heft to George Orwell's famous observation that the England of that time was a family, but one "with the wrong members in control" * Times Book of the Week * Through meticulous research Lownie makes a convincing argument for the duke's treachery...Edward is revealed for what he was: a traitor to the British people and an ally to Hitler....Academic in its tone and shocking in its contents Lownie goes where no royal biography has gone before. It sheds new light on British history and during the Second World War and would make for a stellar tv series. * The Lady * Andrew Lownie has uncovered an array of new sources regarding the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, and he exhibits a sovereign command of the existing biographies. Tackling the most sensitive subjects-the Duke and Duchess' sexuality, their pro-Nazi views, their problematic behavior during the war, and the complicated nature of their relationship - Lownie has painted the most convincing portrait of the couple to date. The results are fascinating, if disconcerting. -- Jonathan Petropoulos, author of * Royals and the Reich: The Princes von Hessen in Nazi Germany * Andrew Lownie does not pull his punches. His well researched biography of the former Edward V111, before and after his abdication, will shock even the most loyal royalist. * Sir Christopher Ondaatje, author of The Last Colonial * An absorbing and easily digestible book * Telegraph *
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