One of the great revelations of William Shawcross's official biography of Queen Mother was her private correspondence. Indeed, the Sunday Times described her letters as "wonderful... brimful of liveliness and irreverence, steeliness and sweetness."
Now, drawing on the vast wealth of material in the Royal Archives and at Glamis Castle and elsewhere, William Shawcross has put together a selection of those letters, many of which have never before been published. A prolific correspondent from her earliest childhood to the very end of her life, her letters offer readers a vivid insight into the person behind the public face.
They reveal - in her own words - the much-loved little girl who wrote teasing letters to her many siblings; the young woman who, after a long courtship and two refusals, accepted Prince Albert's proposal. We see her as Duchess of York, bringing a sense of ease and fun into the public and private lives of the Royal Family. We see her delight in her beloved daughters, and her very real shock when she and her husband realized that he would become king following the abdication of Edward VIII. We see, too, the dreadful toll exacted by the Second World War, which culminated in the king's tragically early death in 1952, and then her determination, despite her grief, to find a new role for herself during the long years of widowhood. (pb)