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Review – The Queen: A Life in Brief

January 29, 2013

The Queen

The Queen: A Life in Brief, by Robert Lacey, is just what it says it is – a short biography of Britain’s Queen from her birth to the engagement of her grandson, Prince William.  The book portrays her as a good monarch but as a not so good parent.  I thought it portrayed her in a mostly positive light even after the death of Diana.

When Elizabeth was born, her grandfather was King.  Elizabeth was not groomed to become Queen because her ascension to the throne seemed unlikely since her father was second in line to the throne.  She was taught to revere the crown from birth, though.  When Elizabeth’s grandfather passed away, her uncle ascended to the throne.  When he chose love over royalty, her father was thrust into the role of King.  Elizabeth was eleven at the time.  As his first born child, she became Queen after his untimely death when she was twenty five years old.  Lacey shows the dedication and sacrifices she has made in order to serve her country.  I’m not sure there’s a lot of new information in this book, but it does give a nice overview for anyone interested in learning about the Queen.

The book has French flaps and is printed on high quality, glossy paper and includes dozens of photographs, many of them in color.  At 157 pages, it’s a quick read and doesn’t get bogged down with too many unnecessary details.  The Queen would make a great collector’s item or a lovely gift for someone interested in Queen Elizabeth.

Review copy provided by Harper Collins. I am an Indiebound Affiliate.
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23 Comments leave one →
  1. January 29, 2013 6:52 am

    I didn’t realize it was so brief but it sounds like a book I’d like to read – and I don’t consider myself a fangirl of British royalty. I’m intrigued.

  2. January 29, 2013 6:57 am

    I am always a sucker for books with lots of pictures!

  3. January 29, 2013 7:36 am

    I bet the photos really make this book extra-special.

  4. Beth Hoffman permalink
    January 29, 2013 8:50 am

    I love books with high quality photos!

  5. January 29, 2013 10:10 am

    This sounds like one I’d enjoy. Thanks, Kathy!

  6. zibilee permalink
    January 29, 2013 10:47 am

    I am not as interested in Elizabeth as I have been in other British monarchs, so I probably wouldn’t read this, but it’s interesting to hear that she was not portrayed as a stellar parent. I had my suspicions on this before, so it’s intriguing to hear it confirmed! Very lovely review today, Kathy!

  7. January 29, 2013 11:41 am

    I find her fascinating – just imagining what her life must have been like. Not so much the luxury part, but the aspect of her father unexpectedly becoming queen and then her own experiences becoming a young queen.

  8. January 29, 2013 12:08 pm

    Sounds like a nice book.

  9. January 29, 2013 3:12 pm

    It sounds fascinating…especially all of the photos!

  10. January 29, 2013 3:22 pm

    I would read this as I feel the same Alyce does, very curious what it was like to be put in that position.

  11. boardinginmyforties permalink
    January 29, 2013 4:40 pm

    I’m fascinated by the Royal Family and wonder who they really are…not sure a book could really tell us but this sounds an interesting read and I like that it includes pictures.

  12. January 29, 2013 10:03 pm

    I have not really paid a lot of attention to British royalty so was not even totally aware of how she became Queen I’m embarrassed to admit :-)
    As a parent, the choices we make are not always easy to excuse….and when there’s a kingdom to run v. children to parent ~ i would not want to be her! great review Kathy!

  13. January 29, 2013 10:36 pm

    Very nice review, Kathy! (I still think of the Queen’s arrival at the Olympics with a smile. ;)

  14. January 30, 2013 11:29 am

    To me, she always came across as Queen material, putting duty first. This would make a great gift for lovers of everything related to the Royal family.

  15. January 30, 2013 3:49 pm

    Looks like an interesting read, especially for someone with a casual interest in the Queen. Eye catching cover too.

  16. January 30, 2013 8:28 pm

    I really enjoyed it – I think it provided just enough info for me on the Queen herself. You are right – it makes a great gift. I gave it to my Mom and she has also gifted the book to some of her friends.

  17. January 30, 2013 8:36 pm

    I want to read this one. I remember both her wedding and her coronation. As a young girl she seemed like a real-life fairy tale heroine.

  18. January 30, 2013 9:06 pm

    It does seem like an odd path she took to the throne.

  19. January 31, 2013 6:27 pm

    This is definitely a book I’d enjoy. I’m fascinated by anything to do with the Royals.

  20. January 31, 2013 6:58 pm

    For some crazy reason I’m fascinated by her. I think it would be hard to be Queen but I do think that she might have been more hands off than she should have!! That’s what I loved about Diana!!

  21. January 31, 2013 9:07 pm

    I am obsessed with British Royalty so this sounds like a book I need to read!

  22. January 31, 2013 10:04 pm

    Thanks for the review. this seems like a good introduction to the royal family!

  23. February 2, 2013 2:45 pm

    I think I’d enjoy the in brief part. I am interested but not enough for a long, detailed book. Thanks for the recommendation.

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