Princes at War: The Bitter Battle Inside Britain's Royal Family in the Darkest Days of WWII

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This book tells the story of four sons of King George V during the period that the monarchy faced the greatest threats to its survival in the modern era – the crisis of the abdication, and the nationwide threat to Britain of the Nazis, inside and out. The threat of world war echoed the war within the royal family. Played out against the cataclysm of the Second World War the princes' actions – for good or ill – became all the more significant and magnified on a world stage. The war served to unleash passions at a time when the very function of royalty as head of the empire was under threat. It served as a crucible that made or destroyed each of the princes. One would die in mysterious circumstances forever mired in conspiracy and scandal; another was destroyed in all but name, a third slipped into comfortable obscurity, and the fourth rose to new heights of achievement redefining the monarchy for the modern age.

The catalyst for the story is one dangerous American woman: Wallis Simpson. The consequences of her actions drive one prince to an early grave and the other to become a living wreck of a man nursing long held grievances. Recently discovered letters show that Wallis herself was caught in a trap of her own making: a life entombed in a gilded cage with a man she could not respect and whom she tried to leave. Everything she wished for, she destroyed. Famously she is said to have been sent 17 carnations by the Nazi Joachim von Ribbentrop, representing their 17 sexual trysts.

George VI's story is also an allegory for a much wider theme. Starting where the film The Kings Speech ends, a revealing transformation in his character takes place. As he steps up with some dread to the role of king that his older brother spurns, his horizons are widened and he falls into the sphere of influence of brilliant leaders such as Winston Churchill. As Hitler stole country after country for the Third Reich, George VI rose to the challenge, to find the very best in himself, and was transformed by the effort. By the end he can stand alone at the helm, without the support of those who helped him on his way Like fables of old, taking on the challenge transforms the quality of the man – but it is also killing him.

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About the author

Deborah Cadbury is an award-winning TV science producer for the BBC. She is also the author of "The Feminization of Nature". She lives in London.

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Additional Information

Publisher
PublicAffairs
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Published on
Mar 10, 2015
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Pages
400
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ISBN
9781610394048
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Royalty
History / Europe / Great Britain / General
History / Modern / 20th Century
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Deborah Cadbury
Royalty, revolution, and scientific mystery---the dramatic true account of the fate of Louis XVII, son of Marie Antoinette, and an extraordinary detective story that spans more than two hundred years.

Louis-Charles, Duc de Normandie, enjoyed a charmed early childhood in the gilded palace of Versailles. At the age of four, he became the dauphin, heir to the most powerful throne in Europe. Yet within five years he was to lose everything. Drawn into the horror of the French Revolution, his family was incarcerated and their fate thrust into the hands of the revolutionaries who wished to destroy the monarchy.

In 1793, when Marie Antoinette was beheaded at the guillotine, she left her adored eight-year-old son imprisoned in the Temple Tower. Far from inheriting a throne, the orphaned boy-king had to endure the hostility and abuse of a nation. Two years later, the revolutionary leaders declared Louis XVII dead. No grave was dug, no monument built to mark his passing.

Immediately, rumors spread that the prince had, in fact, escaped from prison and was still alive. Others believed that he had been murdered, his heart cut out and preserved as a relic. As with the tragedies of England's princes in the Tower and the Romanov archduchess Anastasia, countless "brothers" soon approached Louis-Charles's older sister, Marie-Therese, who survived the revolution. They claimed not only the dauphin's name, but also his inheritance. Several "princes" were plausible, but which, if any, was the real heir to the French throne?
The Lost King of France is a moving and dramatic tale that interweaves a pivotal moment in France's history with a compelling detective story that involves pretenders to the crown, royalist plots and palace intrigue, bizarre legal battles, and modern science. The quest for the truth continued into the twenty-first century, when, thanks to DNA testing, the strange odyssey of a stolen heart found within the royal tombs brought an exciting conclusion to the two-hundred-year-old mystery of the lost king of France.

Deborah Cadbury
From the best-selling author of THE DINOSAUR HUNTERS and THE LOST KING OF FRANCE comes the story of how our modern world was forged – in rivets, grease and steam; in blood, sweat and human imagination.

The nineteenth century saw the creation of some of the world's most incredible feats of engineering. Deborah Cadbury explores the history behind the epic monuments that spanned the industrial revolution from Brunel's extraordinary Great Eastern, the Titanic of its day that joined the two ends of the empire, to the Panama Canal, that linked the Atlantic and Pacific oceans half a century later.

Seven Wonders of the Industrial World recreates the stories of the most brilliant pioneers of the industrial age, their burning ambitions and extravagant dreams, their passions and rivalries as great minds clashed. These were men such as Arthur Powell-Davis, the engineer behind the Hoover Dam, who dreamed of creating the largest dam in the world by diverting the entire Colorado river, one of the worlds most dangerous and unpredictable, or John Roebling, who lost his life creating the Brooklyn Bridge, the longest suspension bridge ever built. These are also the stories of countless unsung heroes – the craftsmen and workers without whose perseverance nothing would have been achieved, not to mention the financiers and shareholders hanging on for the ride as fortunes – and reputations – were lost and won.

Cadbury leads us on an amazing journey from the freezing snows of the Alps to the mosquito-ridden wilds of the Central American jungle as we see uncontrollable rivers tamed, continents conquered and vast oceans joined.

Note that it has not been possible to include the same picture content that appeared in the original print version.

Deborah Cadbury
From the author of ‘Seven Wonders of the Industrial World’, the ebook edition of the TV tie-in charting the shocking but true story behind the space race – and the ruthless, brilliant scientists who fuelled it.

With the end of the Cold War it is now possible to reveal its generation of secrets and cover-ups, bringing an historical opportunity: the unmasking of the true heroes and villains behind the race to be the first to conquer space.

This is one of the greatest stories in history, beginning in the throes of the Second World War and spanning through to the moon landings. With the US and Russia pitched against one another during the Cold War, it was the race to create the most powerful rocket and dominate the world, culminating in 1969's 'giant leap for mankind'. The most pioneering and high-risk experiments ever undertaken cost untold millions – and hundreds of lives, as mistakes were made, some too horrific to be made public.

It is a tale that plays out against a backdrop of communism and espionage. Buried within this multi-million-dollar battle between nations, are the dramatic accounts of the individuals who seek to be the winners at any cost. With ex-Nazi Wernher von Braun on the American side pitted against the enigmatic Sergei Korolev on the Soviet side, this revealing new history shows the extent to which politics and personal ambition combined to create an explosive race for the glory of victory.

Note that it has not been possible to include the same picture content that appeared in the original print version.

Deborah Cadbury
From the author of ‘Seven Wonders of the Industrial World’, the ebook edition of the TV tie-in charting the shocking but true story behind the space race – and the ruthless, brilliant scientists who fuelled it.

With the end of the Cold War it is now possible to reveal its generation of secrets and cover-ups, bringing an historical opportunity: the unmasking of the true heroes and villains behind the race to be the first to conquer space.

This is one of the greatest stories in history, beginning in the throes of the Second World War and spanning through to the moon landings. With the US and Russia pitched against one another during the Cold War, it was the race to create the most powerful rocket and dominate the world, culminating in 1969's 'giant leap for mankind'. The most pioneering and high-risk experiments ever undertaken cost untold millions – and hundreds of lives, as mistakes were made, some too horrific to be made public.

It is a tale that plays out against a backdrop of communism and espionage. Buried within this multi-million-dollar battle between nations, are the dramatic accounts of the individuals who seek to be the winners at any cost. With ex-Nazi Wernher von Braun on the American side pitted against the enigmatic Sergei Korolev on the Soviet side, this revealing new history shows the extent to which politics and personal ambition combined to create an explosive race for the glory of victory.

Note that it has not been possible to include the same picture content that appeared in the original print version.

Deborah Cadbury
From the best-selling author of THE DINOSAUR HUNTERS and THE LOST KING OF FRANCE comes the story of how our modern world was forged – in rivets, grease and steam; in blood, sweat and human imagination.

The nineteenth century saw the creation of some of the world's most incredible feats of engineering. Deborah Cadbury explores the history behind the epic monuments that spanned the industrial revolution from Brunel's extraordinary Great Eastern, the Titanic of its day that joined the two ends of the empire, to the Panama Canal, that linked the Atlantic and Pacific oceans half a century later.

Seven Wonders of the Industrial World recreates the stories of the most brilliant pioneers of the industrial age, their burning ambitions and extravagant dreams, their passions and rivalries as great minds clashed. These were men such as Arthur Powell-Davis, the engineer behind the Hoover Dam, who dreamed of creating the largest dam in the world by diverting the entire Colorado river, one of the worlds most dangerous and unpredictable, or John Roebling, who lost his life creating the Brooklyn Bridge, the longest suspension bridge ever built. These are also the stories of countless unsung heroes – the craftsmen and workers without whose perseverance nothing would have been achieved, not to mention the financiers and shareholders hanging on for the ride as fortunes – and reputations – were lost and won.

Cadbury leads us on an amazing journey from the freezing snows of the Alps to the mosquito-ridden wilds of the Central American jungle as we see uncontrollable rivers tamed, continents conquered and vast oceans joined.

Note that it has not been possible to include the same picture content that appeared in the original print version.

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