THE ABDICATION OF EDWARD VIII by Lord Beaverbrook

THE ABDICATION OF EDWARD VIII

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This is everything a personal account should be: rather short, very gossipy, colorfully detailed. Of course, Edward VIII and Mrs. Simpson get lost for long stretches, but a super-healthy ego like the late Beaverbrook's is bound to overshadow that of kings and hearts. As one of Britain's most powerful press lords, who knew the extent of his influence and enjoyed using it, Beaverbrook was called in by King Edward to help smother all news of Mrs. Simpson prior to the abdication. Beaverbrook cooperated and it turned out to be a tactical mistake. It lost the King the sentimental public support he might have gained while the prolonged silence eventually played into the hands of the Archbishop of Canterbury and Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin. Beaverbrook is a pleasure to read because he makes no bones about what he thought of all the principals in the crisis. King Edward VIII comes up more indiscreet than ever the VII was; Beaverbrook did not care much for Mrs. Simpson or admire her style. He names the names of those he felt ill-served their love-bugged sovereign. And, although he recognized (and fully discusses) the political, religious and legal issues at stake, even in his retrospect, it is clear that Beaverbrook entered the royal machinations with a suppressed whoop because he wanted to give Baldwin and the Archbishop their lumps. Not essential, but interesting to compare to chapters in A King's Story.

Pub Date: July 18th, 1966
Publisher: Atheneum