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Traitor King: The Scandalous Exile of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor: AS FEATURED ON CHANNEL 4 TV DOCUMENTARY Paperback – 12 May 2022
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UPDATED PAPERBACK FEATURING NEW CONTENT
A Daily Mail Royal Book of the Year, 2021
A Spectator Book of the Year, 2021
'Briskly written and compulsively readable' - A.N. Wilson, TLS
'Meticulously researched' - Spectator
'Entertaining, convincing, timely' - Evening Standard
December 1936. The King of England, Edward VIII, has given up his Crown, foregoing his duty for the love of Wallis Simpson, an American divorcée. Their courtship has been dogged by controversy and scandal, but with Edward's abdication, they can live happily ever after. But do they?
In Traitor King, bestselling historian Andrew Lownie draws on hitherto unexplored archives to uncover the dramatic world of the Windsors post-abdication. Lownie reveals a couple obsessed with their status, financially exploiting their position and manipulating the media. Filled with treachery and betrayal, this is a story of an exiled Royal and the Nazi attempts to recruit him to their cause. And of why the Royal family never forgave the Duke for choosing love over duty.
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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, £25), 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
This readable, damning synthesis confirms that Edward's abdication was the free world's good fortune. ― Wall St Journal
Compelling and conclusive. Wallis Simpson performed a great service to the Windsors by removing Edward VIII from the throne. As Andrew Lownie definitively proves, he was totally unfit to be king and his willingness to be Hitler's satrap would have finished the monarchy. ― Clive Irving, bestselling author of The Last Queen
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. ― Jonathan Petropoulos, author of Royals and the Reich: The Princes von Hessen in Nazi Germany
Lownie gathers convincing evidence of Edward's collaboration with Germany and amasses a wealth of new material, including intimate details about the Duchess's affair with American socialite James Donahue. Royal watchers will be riveted. ― Publishers Weekly
Lownie's well-researched and comprehensive book proves there's more to learn about the couple. Readers will find not salacious gossip but careful analysis and an accurate portrait of an unpleasant, grasping, manipulative couple trying to find purpose in their lives. Edward later publicly renounced the worst Nazi offenses, but his friendships, comments, and antisemitism reveal another truth. Crisp prose, meticulous research, and careful objectivity make Lownie's biography accessible to all readers ― Library Journal
- Publisher : Blink Publishing (12 May 2022)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 432 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1788704878
- ISBN-13 : 978-1788704878
- Dimensions : 12.9 x 2.6 x 19.8 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 1,825 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer reviews:
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Traitor King is both scholarly and readable. The picture it draws of the Windsors after the abdication is of a shallow, selfish couple whose hedonistic existence was all style and no substance. The fact that they remained unrepentantly anti-Semitic after the horrors of the Holocaust was particularly shocking. Even in their household they showed a lack of empathy for anyone but themselves; loyal staff were treated with callousness and dismissed on the duchess’s whim.
Andrew Lownie’s latest book is an important addition to the history of appeasement and the Second World War. It confirms that we should be grateful Edward abdicated because this pathetic but wilful man was never fit to become king.
The mileage varies - much of the wartime material will be more familiar, and some episodes - notably the shady world of crime the surrounded the Duke's time in the Bahamas may feel a certain degree of remove from the core narrative. But in a way, this is part of this book's joy - the tangled web of connections that have led to the feel that no matter how hard we dig, there are always new layers of intrigue waiting to be uncovered.
On the flip side, this makes for what could be argued is a more 'scholarly' feel to proceedings, and I think overall the book lacks something of the out and out zippy readability of Lownie's remarkable Mountbattens book. I'd argue the post-war chapters are when the book delivers its real payload, with details on the famous Marburg documents and the Duke as a character himself best emerging here. For an overall portrait of the Windsors, I think Hugo Vickers' Behind Closed Doors is still unbeaten, but what The Traitor King brings to the table is a myriad of fresh fascets and sources that further the telling and nuancing of a tale that continues to hold endless fascination.
An absolute winner being an addictive page turner. Clearly the writer worked long and hard for this book.
I'm the first to admit I'm looking forward to the next book already.
I found it to be a very fair, balanced book. We were given the facts quite plainly, and I was astonished at some of them. I could not quite believe what I was reading at times! It certainly does not paint these two characters in a good light. It really is sensational reading, in parts, but it is not written in a sensationalist style. I think the factual style of the writing gives it an even greater impact. The writer also discusses alternative ways at looking at the evidence, in order to balance the conclusions drawn, so it does not read as an all out attack on them both but, without doubt, very damning of both characters.
If you choose to read this book, you will certainly 'get what it says on the tin'. It certainly was a scandalous exile of the Duke and Duchess.