Top Books in Honor of Queen Elizabeth's Sapphire Jubilee
Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her Sapphire Jubilee, marking the 65th anniversary of the monarch's accession to the throne.
BroadwayWorld rounds up the top 12 books that honor her life in celebration of this milestone.
1. ELIZABETH THE QUEEN: THE LIFE OF A MODERN MONARCH. *NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Perfect for fans of The Crown, this magisterial biography of Queen Elizabeth II is a close-up view of the woman we've known only from a distance-and a captivating window into the last great monarchy.
2. QUEEN: ELIZABETH II AND THE MONARCHY. An updated edition of Ben Pimlott's classic biography of the Queen: 'There is no better biography of Elizabeth II.' PETER HENNESSY, Independent on Sunday The royal family have been through a tumultuous decade, but with the wedding of Prince William to Kate Middleton, Prince Philip's 90th birthday and the forthcoming Diamond Jubilee celebrations, there is renewed interest and appreciation of our monarchy. The Queen is an in-depth look at the woman at the centre of it all and is the only biography to take Elizabeth II seriously as the subject of historical biography, or to examine the influences that formed her and the ideas she represents. Ben Pimlott (described by Andrew Marr in the Independent as 'the best writer of political biography now writing') treats the Head of State to the rigorous and objective scrutiny he applied to major political personalities, using a wide range of sources, including interviews, diaries and letters, and papers in the Royal Archives. The Queen looks at the social, political and psychological aspects of his subject in detail, as well as at the changing role of Monarchy in the British Constitution. In the process, the book displays all the author's formidable analytic and narrative skills, and provides a gripping yet sensitive account of one of the most publicised - yet least known - figures of our time. It is vital reading for all those who care about public life in Britain - past, present and to come.
3. QUEEN ELIZABETH II: HER LIFE IN OUR TIMES. From Sarah Bradford, the best-selling author of George VI, Elizabeth and Diana, the definitive biography of Queen Elizabeth II, to tie in with the Diamond Jubilee. Elizabeth II has lived through the Abdication, the Blitz and World War Two, the sex and spy scandals of the swinging sixties, the Cold War and the nuclear threat and the Fall of the Berlin Wall. She has known 11 US Presidents including JFK and Ronald Reagan, and other world leaders like President Mandela and Pope John XXII. Her Prime Ministers have ranged from Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher to David Cameron, the last only ten years older than her grandson. Her own family experiences, a mixture of happiness and crisis, weddings and divorces, and, in the case of Diana, violent death, have been lived in the glare of tabloid headlines. More than 2 billion people watched the wedding of her grandson Prince William to Catherine Middleton in 2010 shortly before she made the first State Visit to Ireland by a British monarch for 100 years. Our world has changed more in her lifetime than in any of her predecessors': the Queen has remained a calm presence at the centre, earning the respect of monarchists and republicans. How has she done it? 'Bradford has a real grasp of history and the ability to make it spark into new life' Sunday Telegraph 'Bradford's forte, ever since she was a history-mad girl, is thinking herself into other lives' Daily Telegraph Sarah Bradford is a historian and biographer. Her books include Cesare Borgia (1976), Disraeli (1982), winner of the New York Times Book of the Year, Princess Grace (1984), Sacherevell Sitwell (1993), Elizabeth: A Biography of Her Majesty the Queen (1996), America's Queen: The Life of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (2000), Lucrezia Borgia (2005) and Diana (2007). She frequently appears on television as an authority on her biographical subjects and as a commentator on notable royal events. She is currently working on a full scale biography of Queen Victoria. She lives in London.
4. THE SECRET OF THE CROWN: CANADA'S AFFAIR WITH ROYALTY. Award-winning journalist, author, and royal authority John Fraser explores the endurance and allure of the Crown in Canada. With his trademark wit and artful agility, he looks at the Crown's evolution from the Age of Deference to the era of celebrity to the present popular revival. Fraser examines the differences between tribal monarchy and constitutional monarchy, the key roles of the governor general and the lieutenant governor, and the media's insatiable appetite for the Royal Family. Finally, he speculates on the future reign of Charles, Prince of Wales, and pays homage to Queen Elizabeth II on her Diamond Jubilee. An erudite and highly entertaining volume, The Secret of the Crown offers both a captivating and enlightening appraisal of Canada's long-standing affair with royalty.
5. THE UNCOMMON READER. When her corgis stray into a mobile library parked near Buckingham Palace, the Queen feels duty-bound to borrow a book. Discovering the joy of reading widely (from J. R. Ackerley, Jean Genet, and Ivy Compton-Burnett to the classics) and intelligently, she finds that her view of the world changes dramatically. Abetted in her newfound obsession by Norman, a young man from the royal kitchens, the Queen comes to question the prescribed order of the world and loses patience with the routines of her role as monarch. Her new passion for reading initially alarms the palace staff and soon leads to surprising and very funny consequences for the country at large.
With the poignant and mischievous wit of The History Boys, England's best loved author revels in the power of literature to change even the most uncommon reader's life.
6. THE QUEEN AND I. When a Republican party wins the general election, their first act in power is to strip the royal family of their assets and titles and send them to live on a housing estate in the Midlands. Exchanging Buckingham Palace for a two-bedroomed semi in Hell Close (as the locals dub it), caviar for boiled eggs, servants for a social worker named Trish, the Queen and her family learn what it means to be poor among the great unwashed. But is their breeding sufficient to allow them to rise above their changed circumstance or deep down are they really just like everyone else? (From Michael Joseph)
7. MRS. QUEEN TAKES THE TRAIN. An absolute delight of a debut novel by William Kuhn-author of Reading Jackie: Her Autobiography in Books-Mrs Queen Takes the Train wittily imagines the kerfuffle that transpires when a bored Queen Elizabeth strolls out of the palace in search of a little fun, leaving behind a desperate team of courtiers who must find the missing Windsor before a national scandal erupts. Reminiscent of Alan Bennett's The Uncommon Reader, this lively, wonderfully inventive romp takes readers into the mind of the grand matriarch of Britain's Royal Family, bringing us an endearing runaway Queen Elizabeth on the town-and leading us behind the Buckingham Palace walls and into the upstairs/downstairs spaces of England's monarchy.
8. THE ROYAL WE. American Bex Porter was never one for fairy tales. Her twin sister Lacey was always the romantic, the one who daydreamed of being a princess, but it's adventure-seeking Bex who goes to Oxford and meets dreamy Nick across the hall-and Bex who finds herself accidentally in love with the heir to the British throne. Nick is wonderful, but he comes with unimaginable baggage: a complicated family, hysterical tabloids tracking his every move, and a public that expected its future king to marry a Brit. On the eve of the most talked-about wedding of the century, Bex looks back on how much she's had to give up for true love... and exactly whose heart she may yet have to break.
9. THE BIRTHDAY CROWN. Published to celebrate The Queen's ninetieth birthday, this enchanting book, illustrated with delightful cut-paper collages, tells the story of the search for the perfect crown for this very special day. As wee readers turn the pages, they can try to guess which crown will finally be chosen. Will it be the crown from the royal jewelers? The one from the royal chocolate-makers or the royal stables? Or are none of these quite right for such a special day?
10. WINNIE-THE-POOH AND THE ROYAL BIRTHDAY. As Her Majesty The Queen celebrates her official 90th birthday, a very special bear is also celebrating 90 years. Step into the unforgettable journey of Pooh and his friends as they travel from the Hundred Acre Wood to London, to deliver their thoughtful 90th birthday presents to The Queen. From riding on an open-top red bus, to taking in the sights including Trafalgar Square and Buckingham Palace, your family can enjoy Pooh's latest adventure by downloading Winnie-the-Pooh and the Royal Birthday here. (From Disney)
11. THE BFG. When Sophie is snatched from her bed in the middle of the night by a giant with a stride as long as a tennis court she is sure she's going to be eaten for breakfast. But luckily for Sophie, the BFG is far more jumbly than his disgusting neighbours, whose favourite pastime is guzzling up whoppsy-whiffling human beans. Sophie is determined to stop all this, and so she and the BFG cook up an ingenious plan to rid of the world of the Bloodbottler, the Fleshlumpeater and all their rotsome friends forever. (From the publisher.) The BFG 2016 film adaptation was directed by Steven Spielberg, and stars Jemaine Clement and Bill Hader.
12. MY NAME IS ELIZABETH! Meet Elizabeth. She's got an excellent pet duck, a loving granddad and a first name that's just awesome. After all, she's got a queen named after her! So she's really not amused when people insist on using nicknames like ?Lizzy? and ?Beth.? She bears her frustration in silence until an otherwise ordinary autumn day, when she discovers her power to change things once and for all. In the process, Elizabeth learns about communication and respect --- and their roles in building better relationships with family and friends. The two-toned illustrations reflect the story's energy and sass, and the comic-book-like format makes it easy to follow. The cheeky, retro drawings also keep it real --- depicting the sometimes-feisty Elizabeth as a resolutely normal kid --- whether she's flossing her teeth or feeding her pet duck.
Photo Credit: David Bailey via AP