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TRAITOR KING
TRAITOR KING
 
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Author : Andrew Lownie
Publisher : Bonnier Books
ISBN# : 9781788704830
Pages : 410
Price:INR 699
 
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Book Description

 The Traitor King is a powerfully argued and interesting spin on the abdication and aftermath story we all feel we know so well by this point. Delving deep into the former King's life through the war period, what marks this effort out is its remarkable attempts at gathering material from the archives to present fresh, sometimes surprising new takes on scenes we thought we already had all the answers to.

The mileage varies - much of the wartime material will be more familiar, and some episodes - notably the shady world of crime the surrounded the Duke's time in the Bahamas may feel a certain degree of remove from the core narrative. But in a way, this is part of this book's joy - the tangled web of connections that have led to the feel that no matter how hard we dig, there are always new layers of intrigue waiting to be uncovered.

On the flip side, this makes for what could be argued is a more 'scholarly' feel to proceedings, and I think overall the book lacks something of the out and out zippy readability of Lownie's remarkable Mountbattens book. I'd argue the post-war chapters are when the book delivers its real payload, with details on the famous Marburg documents and the Duke as a character himself best emerging here. For an overall portrait of the Windsors, I think Hugo Vickers' Behind Closed Doors is still unbeaten, but what The Traitor King brings to the table is a myriad of fresh fascets and sources that further the telling and nuancing of a tale that continues to hold endless fascination.

 
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