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The Royal Governess: A Novel of Queen…

The Royal Governess: A Novel of Queen Elizabeth II's Childhood (vuoden 2020 painos)

– tekijä: Wendy Holden (Tekijä)

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioKeskustelut
367525,737 (3.11)-
Teoksen nimi:The Royal Governess: A Novel of Queen Elizabeth II's Childhood
Kirjailijat:Wendy Holden (Tekijä)
Info:Berkley (2020), 432 pages
Kokoelmat:Oma kirjasto
Arvio (tähdet):

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The Royal Governess: A Novel of Queen Elizabeth II's Childhood (tekijä: Wendy Holden)



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Twenty two year old Marion Crawford is determined to become a teacher in the slums. She wants to educate the poor and help them live a better life. Instead she is summoned by the Duchess of York to become the governess of her daughters. What she initially thought to be a temporary position ended up a lifetime role, bearing the huge responsibility of tutoring the two little princesses, Elizabeth and Margaret Rose, one of which was destined to become the Queen of England.

The Scottish woman goes from her little house to the Buckingham Palace, the Windsor Castle and Balmoral, defying court protocol and trying to bring some sense of normality into the princesses lives, especially that of little Elizabeth. A ride on the tube, a visit at the museum, Christmas shopping at Woolworth’s maybe be something of the ordinary for the average citizen, but it was more than extraordinary for the princess. And Marion Crawford did her best to show all this to her young little princess!

As Wendy Holden writes in her author’s note, she once came across with Crawford’s memoir , “The Little Princesses”. That book is said to be written after Crawford was retired and under encouragement by her husband, a bank manager who seemed to have expected more for his wife from the royal family. It seems though that Holden has done her research well and has managed to create a wonderful fiction novel based on true historical events and figures.

The main character in the book is Marion Crawford and all the story is told from her point of view. We therefore get to know all her deepest thoughts, all her secrets, everything that she ever wanted and ever tried for. She considered herself a modern woman, with a modern haircut, wearing modern cloths, made by her mother. She was studying to become a teacher in a patriarchal society, where schools were only for boys and teachers were men with dusty minds. She wanted to change that. She wanted to bring much more change than that to her country. So she was convinced that the best way to do that, was to shape the minds of those in high places. She thought she could do it. She really fought for it! She had achieved quite so many things, until war broke and Elizabeth grew and she understood she could not fight royal protocol and win all the fights.

I really loved how I got to see that insight on the royal family and the early age of Queen Elizabeth II. It may be a work of fiction, but still, the character built is so unique, giving every bit of information possible about the real people. Queen Elizabeth II is protruded as a very clever child, one that understood more than the people around her realized. She was so keen on getting any kind of information she could and she would use that information to understand how the world spins. Always on a good way and always appreciating what was given to her. Or at least to some point. People that were raised up having everything and a unique social status, sometimes fail to understand a few basic things in life.

I really loved Marion, the main character of the book, as well as I loved little Elizabeth. Holden’s writing style is captivating and if you like historical fiction of royal stories, you are bound to love this one too!

“The Governess” is coming out in Britain on August 20, 2020, by Welbeck! ( )
  GeorgiaKo | Dec 1, 2020 |
Auch wenn ich nicht unbedingt ein Fan des englischen Königshauses bin, so kann man sich doch kaum der Berichterstattung entziehen und ich fand es interessant, einmal eine andere Perspektive auf die Royals zu sehen als die der Yellow-Press.
Marion Crawford ist erst 22 Jahre alt, als sie die Schwestern Elisabeth und Margaret unterrichten soll. Sie ist recht schockiert, als sie feststellt, dass das Leben bei den Yorks so anders ist als das Leben, wie sie es kennt. Sie möchte, dass die Mädchen das reale Leben kennenlernen. Ihr Einfluss nimmt ständig zu und sie ganz besonders Lilibet ist ihr ans Herz gewachsen. Doch dann wird aus dem Herzog von York der englische König Georg VI. und aus Lilibet die künftige Königin.
Dieses Buch, das Fiktion und Wirklichkeit miteinander verknüpft, hat mir ganz gut gefallen. Allerdings hätte ich am Ende ganz gerne gewusst, was nun wirklich Fiktion war. Es hätte auch einiges etwas gestrafft werden können.
Man hat beim Lesen den Eindruck, als wäre da eine Kamera, die alles aufnimmt, so dass ich es betrachten kann.
Über die Charaktere rund um die königliche Familie braucht man wohl nicht viel zu sagen. Also bleibt die Lehrerin und Gouvernante, die sich um ihre Schützlinge kümmert. Sie steht mit beiden Beinen im Leben und will, dass diese Schützlinge nicht nur das abgeschottete Leben hinter Schlossmauern kennenlernen; sie nimmt sie mit raus ins wahre Leben. Aber auch Crawfords Leben verändert sich gewaltig, denn man erwartet, dass sie der Familie treu ergeben und verschwiegen ist. Allerdings erhält sie dafür nichts zurück, denn Anerkennung und Dankbarkeit bleibt aus. Sie gehört weder zur Familie noch zur Dienerschaft. Ihr Privatleben verläuft auch nicht wirklich gut. Wirklich warm geworden, bin ich mit der Protagonistin nicht.
Insgesamt habe ich nicht unbedingt etwas Neues erfahren, dennoch hat mich das Buch gut unterhalten. ( )
  buecherwurm1310 | Nov 24, 2020 |
The first two-thirds of the book alternated between--it appeared to me--a recap of Marion Crawford's tell-all book and the risque way Crawford fell into bed with every man she seemingly met. Of course that is an exagerration, but Holden really did not write a "novel," she played upon the misfortune of Crawford and the Windsors. Being the glutton for punishment that I can be, I have just purchased a copy of Crawford's _The Little Princesses_, which I will review as soon as I wade through it. ( )
  kaulsu | Sep 23, 2020 |
I've mixed feelings about this novel. It took a while before I got into the story and I had to summon a certain determination to finish it. While it had its moments, I felt disconnected from the characters and the characterization of some well-known historical figures just felt off. I spent a good portion of the novel frustrated with the narrator, Marion Crawford, who often feels overwhelmed by events rather than taking an active role in them. While this may be close to the truth, it makes for a certain degree of frustration after 400 pages of it. The gem of the story is good, but I just couldn't love this book as I have others set in this period. ( )
  wagner.sarah35 | Sep 13, 2020 |
The minute I heard about this book I knew I had to get my hands on a copy. As a lifelong royalist I enjoy anything relating to the Royal Family and this fictionalised account of the life of Marion Crawford, who for 17 years was governess to Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret, fascinated me from the start.

It's rather a sad story. I suppose it's inevitable that nannies and governesses will be outgrown by their charges and that is what happened to Marion. After being indispensible for many years, suddenly she found that she was cast aside. She then made a terrible error of judgement by agreeing to write about her time with her royal charges.

Wendy Holden's retelling is sympathetic towards Marion, rightly so in my opinion. She sacrificed her best years for the princesses. It wasn't just a job, it was her life. The author also beautifully turns fact into an appealing story, plumping out characters and events to make this an utterly engrossing novel. It's absolutely clear, however, that she has done a huge amount of research. As a royalist I know a reasonable amount of facts but this book is chock full of detail, expertly and intricately woven into the fabric of the story. Did you, for instance, know that Buckingham Palace had its own postman amongst its 400 employees in the 1930s. I was agog at times.

This book took me longer than I expected to read, not because I didn't like it or because it was dull, far from it. I wanted to savour every word and fully immerse myself in the royal world, which is as far removed from normal life as you could imagine. Holden has written something so incredibly special with The Governess and I was thrilled to learn in the acknowledgements that she's now writing a novel about the much-maligned, Wallis Simpson. I can't wait for that!

What a treat reading this book has been. I have loved every second of it. It's right up my street but will appeal to any fans of 20th century historical fiction. ( )
  nicx27 | Aug 20, 2020 |
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