Having been given unprecedented access to the archives, Jane Ridley challenges the reputation of George V in her new biography.
She also gives a riveting account of George’s marriage to Queen Mary, portraying her as strong, decisive and regal. George V may not have lived up to his father’s reputation for flamboyance and hedonism, but he led the country through a series of crises thought to be the most testing faced by any twentieth-century British sovereign.
George V navigated a constitutional crisis, the First World War, the fall of thirteen European monarchies and the rise of Bolshevism. The suffragette Emily Davison threw herself under his horse at the Derby, he refused asylum to his cousin the Tsar Nicholas II and he facilitated the first Labour government. How this supposedly limited man managed to steer the Crown through so many perils is a remarkable story. And with it comes a riveting portrait of a royal marriage and family life.
A Crowning Achievement
Like so many Slightly Foxed readers, I was hooked by Netflix’s first series of The Crown. The lavish production, rumoured to have cost £100 million, the understated acting, the meticulous detail...Read more
Because I write about monarchs, people have sometimes asked me whether I’ve read Frances Donaldson’s Edward VIII. ‘Not my period,’ I would stupidly reply, but the historian’s...Read more