Monday, August 13, 2012

Review: The Queen by Robert Lacey

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip on their wedding day via
Reviewed by Connie

Published: 2012

It's about: This biography of Queen Elizabeth II of England is a consolidation of the many books Lacey has researched and written about his favorite subject. In 150 pages, it covers the major points of her life, from her birth to the end of 2011.

I thought: I must preface my review of this book by saying I'm not a big reader of biographies. If I read non-fiction, I prefer it to be "creative non-fiction," which this book is not. It is what it professes to be -- a telling of the Queen's life "in brief."

That having been established, as far as biographies go -- especially consolidated biographies -- this is a superior one. Lacey has certainly done his research, and he speaks about Elizabeth's life credibly and authoritatively.

However, I would not call this biography unbiased. Lacey clearly adores his subject, and I might even call him a royal apologist. On the subject of any and all criticisms of the Queen over the length of her rule, he firmly positions himself on her side.

Have you ever seen the movie, The Queen, starring Helen Mirren? You know how it tells about Diana's death from the royal perspective? That (fabulous) movie is based on another of Robert Lacey's books, if that gives you some idea of what I mean.

Overall, I didn't find the author's bias unreasonable, and it doesn't detract in any way from the book.

Verdict: Stick it on the shelf

Reading Recommendations: If you want a good, (very) quick overview of a fascinating figure's life, this is worth picking up.

Warnings: None

Favorite excerpts: It's a biography... it's pretty straight-forward writing, so no passages particularly stood out to me.

What I'm reading next: Everything Beautiful Began After by Simon Van Booy

*I received a complimentary review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.