Robert Lacey: The Crown

The official companion to the critically acclaimed Netflix drama about the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, The Crown by Peter Morgan, featuring additional historical background and exclusive images.

Starring Claire Foy as Queen Elizabeth II and John Lithgow as Winston Churchill, Netflix’s original series The Crown, created by Peter Morgan and growing out of his Oscar-winning movie The Queen starring Helen Mirren, paints a unique and intimate portrait of Britain’s longest-reigning monarch. This official companion to the show’s first season is an in-depth exploration of the early years of Elizabeth II’s time as Queen, complete with extensive research, additional material, and exclusive, beautifully reproduced images.
One of the show’s most powerful themes is that royals do not choose their duty; it is thrust upon them. Princess Elizabeth never expected her father to die so suddenly, so young, leaving her not only a throne to fill but a global institution to govern. Crowned at twenty-five, already a wife and mother, follow the journey of a woman learning to become a queen while facing her own challenges within her own family. This is the story of how Elizabeth II drew on every ounce of strength and British reserve to deal with crises not only on the continent but at home as well.
Written by bestselling historical biographer Robert Lacey, who also serves as the show’s historical consultant, this official companion provides an in-depth exploration from behind the palace gates. Relive the majesty of the first season of the hit show, with behind-the-scenes photos, meticulously researched images from the time, and more.

If you’re anything like me…a total anglophile…you watched Netflix’s The Crown as soon as it hit the stream. Claire Foy was stunning, and Matt Smith as Prince Philip? Could there be more perfect casting? And can we talk about John FREAKING Lithgow aka Winston FREAKING Churchill?

I loved the show, ok?

But, clearly there were some historical gaps. I mean, it’s TV–history has to be condensed and dramatised. That’s just how it works. So when I saw Robert Lacey was coming out with a companion book? YES.

This book is gorgeous–the photos inside are breathtaking, and it’s fascinating to read how the show matches up with real life history. I read and watch so much historical fiction, but never get a chance to REALLY match it up, not quite in this way. Sure, I can go back and read the Wiki pages…but to have it compared side by side and step by step like this? It’s quite exciting for a nerd like myself.

I will say that the book is somewhat stressful to read for a linear reader. The main text is cut into with not just pictures, but full page character/bio layouts. There is a middle section that is completely interrupted for 20 pages of “other.” It happens again later on in the second half. One begs for a paragraph break to go back and read what was missed.

I do love the inserts, though, and everything is meticulously researched. Any fan of British history will love this book, and I can’t wait for Season Two of The Crown. It appears that they may do another companion to go with it!

Crown Publishing and Blogging for Books provided a copy of this book for unbiased review. This post contains affiliate links.


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