The Windsors at War: The King, His Brother, and a Family Divided (Hardcover)
The next volume in Alexander Larman's biographical chronicle of the Windsor family, as they go to war with Adolf Hitler—and each other.
At the beginning of 1937, the British monarchy was in a state of turmoil. The previous king, Edward VIII, had abdicated the throne, leaving his unprepared and terrified brother Bertie to become George VI, surrounded by a gaggle of courtiers and politicians who barely thought him up to the job. Meanwhile, as the now-Duke of Windsor awaited the decree that would allow him to marry his mistress Wallis Simpson, he took an increased interest in the expansionist plans of Adolf Hitler. He may even have gone so far as to betray his country in the process. And as double agents and Nazi spies thronged the corridors of Buckingham Palace, the only man the King could trust was his Prime Minister, Winston Churchill. But they faced a formidable, even unbeatable, adversary: his own brother.
The Windsors at War tells the never-before-told story of World War Two in Britain and America with a fresh focus on the royal family, their conflicted relationships, and the events that rocked the international press. How did this squabbling, dysfunctional family manage to put their differences aside and unite to help win the greatest conflict of their lifetimes? Alexander Larman, author of The Crown in Crisis, now chronicles the Windsor family at war with Germany—and each other.
About the Author
Alexander Larman is a British historian and journalist. He is the author of several acclaimed books of historical and literary biography, including Blazing Star, Byron's Women, and The Crown in Crisis. He has also edited and ghostwritten for a variety of publications. He writes for the Times, Observer, and Telegraph, as well as The Spectator and The Critic. He lives in Oxford.
Praise for The Windsors at War:
“Alexander Larman’s The Windsors at War is genuinely revealing, politically insightful, scrupulously researched, and has the narrative pace of a champion thoroughbred. It is also an eloquent study of two royal brothers, and of duty and betrayal.” —Tina Brown, New York Times bestselling author of The Diana Chronicles and The Palace Papers
“The definitive version of how the Royal Family behaved in World War II, by turns fast-paced and furious. I couldn’t put it down, except for occasional gasps of incredulity. Larman combines forensic investigative skills with some beautiful prose as he lays out in grim, unremitting detail how the Windsors wavered at critical moments in the war. What a story this is, and what a family.” —Anne Sebba, New York Times bestselling author of That Woman, Les Parisiennes, and Ethel Rosenberg.
“Alexander Larman’s masterful follow-up to The Crown in Crisis mixes thrilling action scenes, deeply researched political skulduggery, and intricate character studies of everyone from King George VI to his brother and nemesis, the Duke of Windsor, to fascinating and compulsively readable effect.” —Dan Jones, New York Times bestselling author of Powers and Thrones and The Hollow Crown
“As profound and exhilarating as it is revelatory—and it is highly revelatory. Larman is a natural-born storyteller, with a keen eye for a precious anecdote. I relished this.” —Daisy Dunn, author of Not Far From Brideshead and The Shadow of Vesuvius
“A worthy successor to Larman’s excellent account of the abdication crisis, exhaustively researched and written with wit and brio, The Windsors at War proves conclusively that the Duke of Windsor betrayed both his brother King George VI and his country. If there is ever a prequel to Netflix’s The Crown, it should be based on this book.” —Saul David, author of Crucible of Hell and The Force
"Polished and persuasive, it’s an incisive study of the interplay between the personal and the political." — Publisher's Weekly
"Both serious historians and obsessive royal-watchers will revel in the wealth of detail that Larman brings to this chronicle." — Booklist (starred review)
"Larman ably portrays the deep layers of emotion and intrigue among the various players notably, the warming relationship and support between King George VI and Churchill during a time of international crisis." — Kirkus Reviews
"Forget Prince Harry; here we have the truly jaw-dropping story of two kings, where the spare had become the heir and believed his brother was trying to kill his family with German bombs. Forget about the American wife who frets about royal titles and wears blood diamonds gifted by a murderer; here is one of the most stylish women of the 20th century, mingling with the Nazi enemy. This is an important story, as well as a gripping one, informed by never-before-used material. We hear the verdict of history on a couple who wanted privilege without responsibility and dealt with the devil to achieve it. I read this brilliant book in one sitting." — Leanda de Lisle, author of After Elizabeth
"A highly recommended, vivid, intriguing book about a memorable time in British history." — Library Journal