I was disappointed in The Crown in Crisis, Countdown to the Abdication, a day-by-day account of the last month of King Edward VIII’s reign. The author claims to have unearthed unseen archival material and interviews about the crisis in which the king renounces the throne for the woman he loves, the infamous American divorcee Wallis Simpson, but much of the information is covered in other books.
The one incident about which very little has been written is the 1936 assignation attempt on the king. Larman devotes almost fifty pages to this event which, although interesting, doesn’t seem relevant to the abdication narrative.
With a vast cast of characters, the book is a dry catalogue of events that is neither sufficiently gossipy nor engaging.
Recommended only for the serious devotee of British history or the royals.
What Other Reviewers Say
Andrew Roberts, author of Churchill: Walking with Destiny: “Alexander Larman’s well-researched and well-written The Crown in Crisis is both scholarly and highly readable. He has mastered the sources superbly, and his analysis of the extraordinary story is full of thought-provoking insights.”
Who Wrote It
Alexander Larman is a British historian and journalist. He writes for The Times, The Observer, and The Telegraph among others.