The Queen: Elizabeth II and the Monarchy

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9780007114351: The Queen: Elizabeth II and the Monarchy

A fully revised edition of Ben Pimlott’s classic biography of the Queen: “There will be no better biography of Elizabeth II." PETER HENNESSY, Independent on Sunday

The institution of monarchy in Britain is in deep crisis. Scarcely a day goes by without some new revelation about the private life of some or other of the Royals splashed all over the tabloid newspapers, and public interest in the House of Windsor is more feverish and obssessional than ever. Royal books written by journalists and royal watchers are ten-a-penny and all, without exception, concentrate on the private lives and traumas of their subjects. This is the only book to take the present Queen seriously as the subject of historical biography , or to examine in depth the influences that formed her or the ideas she represents.

Ben Pimlott (described by Andrew Marr in the Independent as ‘the best writer of political biography now writing’) treats the Head of State – who has been uniquely placed at the centre of the national stage since childhood – to the rigorous and objective scrutiny he has applied to major political personalities, using a wide range of new sources, including interviews, diaries and letters, and papers in the Royal Archives.

The Queen looks at the social, political and psychological aspects of his subject in detail, as well as at the changing role of Monarchy in the British Constitution. In the process, the book displays all the author’s formidable analytic and narrative skills, and provides a gripping yet sensitive account of one of the most publicised – yet least known – figures of our time. It is vital reading for all those who care about public life in Britain – past, present and to come.

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Review:

"This book is a strikingly impressive achievement. Professor Pimlott has shown what wit, scholarship and a wide-ranging historical imagination can do with a subject that must initially have seemed unpromising. There will not be a better royal biography for many years.” PHILIP ZIEGLER, Daily Telegraph

"This is an important and stimulating book which even literary republicans can read with pleasure." ANTONIA FRASER, Guardian

From the Back Cover:

The fifth longest reigning monarch in British history has been one of the most famous people in the world all her life. Yet she remains an enigma.

What kind of person is she? What does she stand for? How has she adapted, if at all? How has she coped with problems that threaten the survival of the Monarch itself? What does the British obsession with the Royal Family tell us about ourselves? In this unusual book, Ben Pimlott (described by Andrew Marr in the 'Independent' as 'the best British political biographer now writing') tackles these questions by examining the life of Elizabeth II – individual, institution and icon – in detail.

Ben Pimlott's biography of the Queen has established itself as the definitive account of her life and reign. Here he has substantially rewritten it in the light of the Monarchy's last turbulent five years as Elizabeth approaches her Golden Jubilee. Using a range of new sources, including papers from the Royal Archives, diaries, letters, and exclusive new interviews, he treats Elizabeth II with all the detachment and rigour he has applied in his prize-winning biographies of leading politicians. He tells the compelling tale of a life uniquely placed at the center of the national stage since childhood, and of the ever-changing way it has been perceived. In the provocative final chapter, Pimlott offers a considered analysis of the state of the monarch today – and its future.

Scholarly, controversial and entertaining, 'The Queen' is a vitally important book for all who care about public life in Britain – past, present and to come.

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BEN PIMLOTT
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ISBN 10: 0007114354 ISBN 13: 9780007114351
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