I wanted to read The Crown in Crisis – Countdown to the Abdication by author Alexander Larman because I had heard about the King Edward VIII’s abdicating the throne for divorcee Mrs. Wallis Simpson. I didn’t know any of the details other than the fact that Mrs. Simpson was an American who was twice divorced. It all seemed very romantic and like true love that would bring a man to give up the throne of England to be with his beloved.
Well, I was in for an awakening. As I write my thoughts about King Edward VIII, I need to divorce my feels about him from what I think about this book.
As the man was portrayed in this book, I found King Edward VIII to be an arrogant, rude, immature, vapid, insufferable, selfish, boring jerk who focused on himself instead of others. He put himself over and above the Country he had been entrusted with. Mrs. Wallis Simpson wasn’t much better. She seemed to be on a quest for power and money and used sex or whatever she had to entrap men, including King Edward VIII. Wallis was not twice divorced, but once when she started committing adultery with King Edward. As part of their weird relationship, a plan was implemented for Wallis to divorce her current husband so the two could marry. But they made it look like Wallis’ husband was the one who was committing adultery and she was the innocent one. Their adultery was blatant and it fractured Edward’s relationship with his father, King George V.
Not sure if the book accurately portrayed Kind Edward VIII and Wallace Simpson? It may have been accurate. Obviously, when a man is ready to toss the crown away for a woman who uses people, they will make a few enemies along the way. It was hard to tell if the author had a negative viewpoint of the King and Mrs. Simpson, or if the preponderance of information about them was negative from the people who surrounded them during this timeframe.
Regarding the book, apart from two very dislikable people, it had some negatives. The book came across as very gossipy, and you know gossips are not always the most reliable source. At times, I found the story and scenes confusing in how they were written. It has long sentences that made the point hard to follow. There were volumes of people in this book, too many to really tell the story in a straight, interesting understandable manner. Some of the accounts were very confusing and skipped from one person to another. There didn’t seem to be a logical order, especially about to the attempted assassination of King Edward VIII. At times, the author went into too much detail and pursued rabbit trails that took away from the story instead of making it richer. It seemed like the author had so much information about King Edward VIII and Mrs. Simpson from the many, many people that surrounded them that he included it all in the book. I’m sure he left a lot out, but I found this book was not written in a fashion that made drew the reader in and unveiled what happened during this crisis in an interesting, logical, and organized way.
I hated the first chapter, it was gross and vile in what was said and seemed to be rumors, innuendo, and speculation as opposed to facts. Throughout this book, I noted many times that it seemed gossipy. If I hadn’t agreed to read the book and give a review, I would have closed the book and not finished it.
I did find that the last third of the book interesting. You would think if someone wanted to walk away from the throne, they could hand over the reins to the next one in line. Not so. It was a huge crisis for England and there were a lot of politics and power plays that were happening and of course, family relationships that were impacted. This was the part of the book that was most interesting.
King Edward VIII was a man who should have never been king. From the beginning, I thought it was God’s providence that spared England from a weak self-absorbed king, as the nation would soon be in a war for the survival of their nation and the free world.
Would I recommend this book? Probably not. Take into account the good and bad information and make a decision if you would like to read it.
I would like to thank St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for the opportunity to read the The Crown in Crisis by Alexander Larman. I was provided with a complimentary copy of this book and not under any obligation to give a favorable review.