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The Crown in Crisis Reviews

The Crown in Crisis by Alexander Larman

The Crown in Crisis: Countdown to the Abdication

Alexander Larman

3.89 out of 5

3 reviews

Imprint: Weidenfeld & Nicolson
Publisher: Orion Publishing Co
Publication date: 9 Jul 2020
ISBN: 9781474612579

The definitive account of the Abdication Crisis of 1936

  • The GuardianBook of the Day
5 stars out of 5
Kathryn Hughes
24 Jul 2020

"Larman shows a delicate touch"

Rumour has it that the royal family was thrilled with Donaldson’s book, with Princess Margaret telling a friend: “It was such a relief for all of us to have the true story told at last.” So Larman has big shoes to fill. Sensibly, he doesn’t go in for startling revisions, but instead makes use of the new sources and interpretive lenses that have become available in the intervening four decades. In particular Larman insists on bringing the Germans back into the narrative, reminding us just how badly Hitler wanted to keep Edward on the throne. 


2 stars out of 5
Simon Heffer
5 Jul 2020

"In a crowded field, Alexander Larman's book on the Abdication offers no fresh discoveries of note"

The quality of a book with no fresh discoveries of note must depend on its insights. Sadly, Larman gets the wrong end of various sticks. He writes that his book “depicts a time in British history when conventional ideas of regal behaviour and duty were cast aside, and where the resulting moral and social vacuum could have led to disaster”. In fact, the only person to cast aside conventional ideas was the King, and because (as his prime minister indicated to him) the public overwhelmingly sided with convention, he remained alone.

  • The TimesBook of the Week
4 stars out of 5
David Aaronovitch
1 Jul 2020

"Larman ... has dug deep and successfully into the archives of the writings of the main people involved in the crisis"

However big a crisis it was compared with others, Larman’s account — rendered with brio and dispatch — proves that the principal actors, from the prime minister, Stanley Baldwin, and his Conservative colleagues, through the powerful press barons, over to the members of the royal family and their households, thought that it was a huge matter. What Larman shows us is that at no time after 1934 was the Prince of Wales, subsequently the King, likely to give up Mrs Simpson.