Saturday, May 05, 2007

The Queen!

I'm spinning DC library conspiracy theories over at Geek Buffet check it out if you want more insight into my paranoia.

But, in happier news, Her Royal Majesty, the Queen of England is here! And my friend Cathy met her! As in was actually introduced and exchanged pleasantries met her!

And, in honor of that, we're kicking off what I hope will be biography week here at Biblio File. We'll see what happens, because in Jennie-land, it's also finals week, so you know that's a good blend. ;)

But, our first biography is The Little Princesses by Marion Crawford.

In what was probably the first royal tell-all written by a former staff member, Crawford (nanny and governess to Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret) paints a loving portrait of two young girls, one of whom would grow up to be Queen. It's hard to imagine that this book, which is has very little negative information would create the uproar it did when first published-- the princesses never forgave Crawford and never spoke with her again.

The book is charming and a very positive look at Elizabeth and Margaret-- Crawford cared for them very much indeed. Large portions of the book are spent rebutting views taken in the media about the girls. I think the section about them at a "secret, undisclosed location" during the war is one of the most interesting. As are the stories of getting Elizabeth's wedding trousseau ready during fabric rationing.

The other interesting tidbits are Crawford's opinions of the various palaces and castles they lived in, as well as the reality of working for the royal family (like realizing you literally don't have anything appropriate to wear and can't afford anything either.) Crawford started working of the Duke of York before he became King and the suddenness, surprise and upheaval it caused was rather unexpected-- both for the family and the reader. The tale ends before Elizabeth's coronation.

Although it has no juicy gossip or scandalous insights, it does paint an interesting picture of a family and a time period. I'm not a big royal watcher, but I did thoroughly enjoy this book.

1 comment:

Jane Doe said...

excellent review. Makes me want to head to the bookstore immediately!