“The Abdication”

Written by Juliet Nicolson this book is probably exactly what you would think it is about–the abdication of Edward VIII.  It is part soap opera and part examination of pre-WWII England.

I enjoyed it for several reasons.  I have a great interest in WWII and the days leading to that conflict.  Nicolson has done her research and portrays the major English characters of this period very well.  Although some of the characters are fictional, I think they represent composites of attitudes and social classes of that day.  Most of the focus of the story is on the King and Wallis Simpson. Both of whom are seen as very unlikeable people.  I have never seen the King portrayed, either in books or movies, as anything else.  When you read how Elizabeth II and her father both conducted themselves, you realize that Edward VIII just didn’t get his responsibilities or just didn’t care.  Wallis Simpson comes in a close second in the selfishness department. 

In addition to the obvious historic elements of the story–anti-Jewish hatred in Britain, the Berlin Olympics, British politics of the day, this was a very readable story that captured the time period and some of its famous/infamous personalities.

1 thought on ““The Abdication””

  1. You might also like “That Woman: The Life of Wallis Simpson” by Anne Sebba. It is a non-fiction account of the Duke and Duchess.

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