Princes at War
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
Review Date: 23 Sep 2015
Full Title: Princes at War: The Bitter Battle Inside Britainâ€™s Royal Family in the Darkest Days of WWII
In 1936, King Edward VIII abdicated the British throne for love, and the timid Prince Albert reluctantly stepped up to become King George VI. While Prince Henry had to leave his military career in preparation to be the third in line for the throne and first in line to be regent to the king's young daughters, the younger Prince George continued his playboy ways despite having been married only years before. Deborah Cadbury's Princes at War told of the relationship between the four sons of King George V, how the events of WW2 affected the family dynamic, and how they, especially Edward VIII and George VI, in turn affected the events of WW2. The author's detailed research gave this book wonderful substance, while her writing style kept the narration alive. While I had heard of King Edward VIII's alleged communications with the Nazi German government, I learned a great deal more about the various facts and speculations. King George VI was undoubtedly the main character of the book, his introverted nature and the eventual growth into a beloved leader were told masterfully. Finally, supporting characters such as British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, German Prince Philipp (a cousin via British Queen Victoria), Romanian King Mihai I (yet another cousin via Queen Victoria), and many others all materially contributed to the overall story. Particularly involving King Edward VIII's alleged German involvement, there were still many missing pieces of information, either destroyed or still classified, at the time of Cadbury's writing; in the final pages of the book, Cadbury highlighted the missing links in the story, thus skillfully tempting and inspiring the readers toward further research.
I had reviewed this book in its audio book format. Veida Dehmlow did a very good job reading and I had enjoyed her performance very much.
Prior to opening this book, I had only rudimentary about the British royal family during the years of the war, thus I found Princes at War to have taught me a great deal. Although the book's cover might suggest it to be a family drama, I found this book to be packed full of relevant history. I recommend this book for that it pushed me to view the war from a different perspective.
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