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The Queen: An elegant new biography of Her Majesty Elizabeth II

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30 review for The Queen: An elegant new biography of Her Majesty Elizabeth II

  1. 4 out of 5

    Steve

    I fairly certain that I have read every biography of the Queen, and am always interested to get my hands on a new one. Matthew Dennison has strong credentials from his prior books. He is a talented and insightful biographer in the tradition of Lytton Strachey. He is not afraid to criticize his subject. "The Queen: An elegant new biography of Her Majesty Elizabeth II" is mostly excellent. My significant complaint is that Dennison spends far too much time on the Queen's life from her birth through I fairly certain that I have read every biography of the Queen, and am always interested to get my hands on a new one. Matthew Dennison has strong credentials from his prior books. He is a talented and insightful biographer in the tradition of Lytton Strachey. He is not afraid to criticize his subject. "The Queen: An elegant new biography of Her Majesty Elizabeth II" is mostly excellent. My significant complaint is that Dennison spends far too much time on the Queen's life from her birth through her Silver Jubilee in 1977. That well-trod ground is exhaustively covered. Sadly, there is hardly anything new to be gleaned from Dennison's painstaking overview of Elizabeth's life as a child. How many times can he quote Marion Crawford's book? I got the sense that Dennison cares primarily about the first half of the Queen's life, when I would argue that the second half is more interesting. By far the best parts of the biography cover the period from 1978 to the present. Unfortunately, Dennison breezes through much of this material where he lingers forever on the pre-1977 timeframe. Dennison's insights into the Queen's relationships with Margaret Thatcher, Diana, Princess of Wales, and her four adult children are excellent. So is his analysis of the evolving role of the monarchy and the steadfastness of the Queen. Dennison understands the unique bond between the Queen and her people. A fine contribution to the historiography of the Queen, but way too much on her early life.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Angela

    I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.  In The Queen, Matthew Dennison offers a comprehensive biography of Queen Elizabeth II, from her birth to the current coronavirus pandemic, and shows how her strong values have influenced her reign.  Although it's not a perfect book, there is a lot to enjoy about this biography. Cons:  The writing is very dense.  Long sentences in even longer paragraphs, coupled with a formal writing style, sometimes made it a bit difficult to g I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.  In The Queen, Matthew Dennison offers a comprehensive biography of Queen Elizabeth II, from her birth to the current coronavirus pandemic, and shows how her strong values have influenced her reign.  Although it's not a perfect book, there is a lot to enjoy about this biography. Cons:  The writing is very dense.  Long sentences in even longer paragraphs, coupled with a formal writing style, sometimes made it a bit difficult to get through at times.  Although Dennison includes many interesting details, I didn't need to know about every portrait that the Queen has sat for in her life.  Also, maybe it's just my bias and being interested in the events that have taken place during my lifetime, but it felt like the last 40 years or so were kind of rushed through.  There is quite a bit about Princess Diana, but I wanted more detail and analysis of how major social, technological, and family changes have affected her reign in more recent years. Pros:  Dennison isn't afraid of including the good and the bad.  This isn't a glowing biography that glosses over criticism, but rather a balanced look at the Queen's life.  He discusses times when the Queen seemed out of touch with the general public and how her duties as monarch sometimes got in the way of being a more present mother.  Dennison's research is impressive, and he includes many quotes that really added to the narrative.  I think Dennison also did a great job showing time and again how the Queen's life has been shaped and guided by tradition and values.  From a young age, she learned the importance of duty, and when it came time for her to be Queen, she brought a sense of honor and desire to serve her people as monarchs before her had done, even if these notions made her seem somewhat old-fashioned and sometimes detached. Overall, I thought this was a wonderful overview of the astounding life and reign of Queen Elizabeth II, a must-read for any royal fan.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Boothe

    If you are looking for a detailed biography of Queen Elizabeth II, this is not the book you are looking for. This is the first biography I have read on Queen Elizabeth and I chose it because it is the most recent one, published this year 2021. Although the author does a good job in detailing her childhood and her early family life with her parents and sister, Margaret, the book becomes a summary after that. For example, the author made statements about the nature of her relationship with Margare If you are looking for a detailed biography of Queen Elizabeth II, this is not the book you are looking for. This is the first biography I have read on Queen Elizabeth and I chose it because it is the most recent one, published this year 2021. Although the author does a good job in detailing her childhood and her early family life with her parents and sister, Margaret, the book becomes a summary after that. For example, the author made statements about the nature of her relationship with Margaret, Diana, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, and various others, but he never delved into those relationships with any details to support the statements he made. Although he states that Prince Philip experienced a difficult time with courtiers and staff when Queen Elizabeth became Queen, no details are given on those negative experiences. Although the author discusses the Queen and Prince Philip's relationship with Prince Charles and states that Prince Andrew is her favorite child, the parental relationship with Anne and Edward receives very little treatment. The author mentions that the Queen's relationship with Camilla evolved from refusing to see her to allowing Prince Charles to marry her, but he does not explain in any detail (again) of the process of that changing relationship. The Queen's relationship with Prince William's wife, Kate, is not covered at all. Only a mention of the marriage and the hopes that are based on it are mentioned. The lack of explanation and supporting discussion regarding Camilla and Kate is a glaring omission because they are two future queens. The book seems like a quick attempt to produce a biography in time for the Queen's Platinum Jubilee in 2022. Although it is a relatively long book at 700-ish pages, it could have been so much better. It is like hearing a play-by-play of a sports game with not much color commentary.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Chasity Gaines

    An in-depth and up-close view of Queen Elizabeth II Very detailed account of the longest reigning monarch, Queen Elizabeth II. Starting with birth, she is the limelight and hope of Britain. Raised with a sense of duty, modesty, and dedicated the darling princess is not spoiled by the crowds waiting to get a glimpse of the fairytale princess. She has encountered and experienced so much in her many years. A beacon of renewal and hope, she has inspired artists in different mediums. Her long marriage An in-depth and up-close view of Queen Elizabeth II Very detailed account of the longest reigning monarch, Queen Elizabeth II. Starting with birth, she is the limelight and hope of Britain. Raised with a sense of duty, modesty, and dedicated the darling princess is not spoiled by the crowds waiting to get a glimpse of the fairytale princess. She has encountered and experienced so much in her many years. A beacon of renewal and hope, she has inspired artists in different mediums. Her long marriage to Prince Philip is a sign of her dedication and commitment to stick by her words and her God. An interesting read that opens the door for a peak at one of the most popular royal family.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Cynthia

    The Queen: An elegant new n biography of HM Elizabeth II A interesting read on Queen Elizabeth II. Parts were great, while other parts dragged on. Not too attentive to her first two children in their early years. Makes you wonder why she was so sheltered, by her parents, only to do the exact opposite to her own children Being absent for the most important years of Charles and Anne lives, brings a lot of sadness to my heart for them. Its no wonder why her children are damaged . Sad that their fath The Queen: An elegant new n biography of HM Elizabeth II A interesting read on Queen Elizabeth II. Parts were great, while other parts dragged on. Not too attentive to her first two children in their early years. Makes you wonder why she was so sheltered, by her parents, only to do the exact opposite to her own children Being absent for the most important years of Charles and Anne lives, brings a lot of sadness to my heart for them. Its no wonder why her children are damaged . Sad that their father appeared to be absent most of the time.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    This is a solid new biography of Queen Elizabeth II, and I think it will be popular in this Platinum Jubilee year. While I didn't learn anything particularly new, it was well-written and shone a lot of light on her younger years. It does rush through the last 30 years at a frightening pace, but at the same time, I appreciate that Diana and Fergie didn't dominate the later portions of the book like they do in so many biographies. Overall, fun to read and well-sourced! This is a solid new biography of Queen Elizabeth II, and I think it will be popular in this Platinum Jubilee year. While I didn't learn anything particularly new, it was well-written and shone a lot of light on her younger years. It does rush through the last 30 years at a frightening pace, but at the same time, I appreciate that Diana and Fergie didn't dominate the later portions of the book like they do in so many biographies. Overall, fun to read and well-sourced!

  7. 4 out of 5

    V A Hobbs

    Elegant Excellence As a lifelong fan of her Majesty, I've read quite a few biographies of her. This is by far the best! No syrup or sychophancy, just a straightforward well written account of her modesty, dedication and devotion to her role as Queen. The only slight criticism is that in places the grammar reads as if the Queen has already passed away; she will one day, but let's not rush her to that day just yet! Elegant Excellence As a lifelong fan of her Majesty, I've read quite a few biographies of her. This is by far the best! No syrup or sychophancy, just a straightforward well written account of her modesty, dedication and devotion to her role as Queen. The only slight criticism is that in places the grammar reads as if the Queen has already passed away; she will one day, but let's not rush her to that day just yet!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Leslie Goddard

    No earth-shattering revelations here for readers who know a lot about the Queen, but a nicely detailed account. It's a long read, so better for someone wanting a deep dive than for someone looking for a casual read. (Note for American readers: it's a British perspective, so you'll find things like a note that Elizabeth's childhood nanny was nicknamed Alla, rhymes with gala. Brits and American pronounce "gala" very differently) No earth-shattering revelations here for readers who know a lot about the Queen, but a nicely detailed account. It's a long read, so better for someone wanting a deep dive than for someone looking for a casual read. (Note for American readers: it's a British perspective, so you'll find things like a note that Elizabeth's childhood nanny was nicknamed Alla, rhymes with gala. Brits and American pronounce "gala" very differently)

  9. 5 out of 5

    Ana Marinho

    Um bom livro para quem se está a introduzir na biografia da Rainha. Senti que aborda todos os temas (até a morte de Filipe), mas nunca de uma maneira exaustiva, permitindo-nos ter uma visão geral dos acontecimentos. Se já gostava da Rainha, após a leitura passei a ter ainda mais respeito e admiração pela mulher que é.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Donna j tresino

    Elizabeth,a the peoples queen. I liked this book alot,it was informative, but not long winded.a real insight to her daily life.wonderful. Respectful to her.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn Harris

    I enjoyed listening to the audiobook of this new biography of Queen Elizabeth II. The opening chapters about the Queen's childhood and how her worldview was shaped by her grandparents and extended family were especially well written. The later chapters focus closely on the Queen's relationship with her son Prince Charles and grandson Prince William as well as her British Prime Ministers and household and it would have been interesting to read more about the influence of the Queen's extended fami I enjoyed listening to the audiobook of this new biography of Queen Elizabeth II. The opening chapters about the Queen's childhood and how her worldview was shaped by her grandparents and extended family were especially well written. The later chapters focus closely on the Queen's relationship with her son Prince Charles and grandson Prince William as well as her British Prime Ministers and household and it would have been interesting to read more about the influence of the Queen's extended family in later decades. The book ends with the Queen's broadcast at the time of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Shaun Finnie

  13. 5 out of 5

    James Mcloughlin

  14. 5 out of 5

    BARBARA CUMMINS

  15. 4 out of 5

    Betsy Alexander

  16. 4 out of 5

    CE

  17. 5 out of 5

    Cecily Kraft

  18. 5 out of 5

    Deborah Mordecai

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kendall

  20. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Rayner

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sabrina K.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Rolf Stark

  23. 5 out of 5

    Bonnie Saunders

  24. 5 out of 5

    Lynsey Thomas

  25. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

  26. 4 out of 5

    kim davies

  27. 5 out of 5

    Thieving Magpie

  28. 5 out of 5

    Teri

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jamie Rhodes

  30. 4 out of 5

    Tammy Varner

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