Monday, January 22, 2018

The Crown: The Official Companion Volume 1: Elizabeth II, Winston Churchill, and the Making of a Young Queen

The Crown: The Official Companion Volume 1: Elizabeth II, Winston Churchill, and the Making of a Young Queen - Robert LaceyThe Crown: The Official Companion Volume 1: Elizabeth II, Winston Churchill, and the Making of a Young Queen
Robert Lacey
Crown Archetype
Copyright Date: October 2017
978-1524762285

The amazon.com product description:
The official companion to the Emmy-winning Netflix drama chronicling the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, and starring Claire Foy and John Lithgow, The Crown by Peter Morgan, featuring additional historical background and beautifully reproduced archival photos and show stills

Elizabeth Mountbatten never expected her father to die so suddenly, so young, leaving her with a throne to fill and a global institution to govern. Crowned at twenty-five, she was already a wife and mother as she began her journey towards becoming a queen.

As Britain lifted itself out of the shadow of war, the new monarch faced her own challenges. Her mother doubted her marriage; her uncle-in-exile derided her abilities; her husband resented the sacrifice of his career and family name; and her rebellious sister embarked on a love affair that threatened the centuries-old links between the Church and the Crown. This is the story of how Elizabeth II drew on every ounce of resolve to ensure that the Crown always came out on top.

Written by the show’s historical consultant, royal biographer Robert Lacey, and filled with beautifully reproduced archival photos and show stills, The Crown: The Official Companion: Volume 1 adds expert and in-depth detail to the events of the series, painting an intimate portrait of life inside Buckingham Palace and 10 Downing Street. Here is Elizabeth II as we’ve never seen her before.
This was a captivating book! That's honestly my gut reaction on turning the last page. It pairs with the series very well, being structured around the episodes of season one. Essentially, Robert Lacey has laid out the real events that formed each episode, giving more details and background information - including where the show-writers have chosen to make things up or condense them to a noticeable level.

There are a mixture of photos from the show and also the real archival photos of the Queen's life included in the book - in fact, that's where my only real grumble comes in with this book - the lack of captions on a lot of the inline photos in the text. That's something that I don't care for in a lot of books, the lack of captioning. Still, this book is definitely lavishly illustrated with many inline photos and also two sections of color photos on glossy pages.

Another helpful feature included in The Crown book are the numerous one and two page biographies of the secondary characters we see in the show - including who the actor/actress playing them was. Yes, of course the main focus of the book is Queen Elizabeth, but still, for those of us too young to remember the events Seasons One and Two are based around, this is a very helpful thing - especially when it comes to the various politicians in the show. I know I found myself scratching my head more than a few times on watching, going "who is this?" with some of the secondary politicians - Churchill, was of course, quite evident and I think John Lithgow did an amazing job portraying him - one of my favorites from Season One!

Well written, and not bogged down in the details at all, though there was plenty of detail - after all, this book only covers the first eight years of Queen Elizabeth's reign, I'm looking forward to whatever the author puts out to go with Season Two (which was outstanding to watch as well).

By the way, for those people not subscribed to Netflix, The Crown is now available on DVD/Blu-Ray, and it is very, very worth watching (really for me it was the only reason we subscribed to Netflix two years ago). Also available are the first two season soundtracks (I'm listening to Season One now and loving it a lot). I will admit to being a sucker for most of Hans Zimmer's music and he did the theme for The Crown - and I suspect had influence on the rest of the soundtrack, as there are parts of it that remind me of the music from The Last Samurai.
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