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Publisher's Summary

The life of Princess May of Teck is one of the great Cinderella stories in history. From a family of impoverished nobility, she was chosen by Queen Victoria as the bride for her eldest grandson, the scandalous Duke of Clarence, heir to the throne, who died mysteriously before their marriage. Despite this setback, she became queen, mother of two kings, grandmother of the current queen, and a lasting symbol of the majesty of the British throne. Her pivotal role in the abdication of her eldest son, the Duke of Windsor, is just one of the events that provide the backdrop for both thrilling biography and for narrating the splendors and tragedies of the entire house of Windsor.

©1984 Anne Edwards (P)2017 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"A magnificent portrayal of majesty...Edwards depicts the whole panorama, from pageantry and protocol to small private detail, with superb narrative finesse, psychological insight, and impressively far-ranging and scrupulous research." (Chicago Tribune)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Rosemary
  • Greenwich, CT, United States
  • 08-06-17

Beautifully read aloud

Queen Mary led an un-examined, stuffy life, remote, ornate and full of endless ceremony, yet the book is fascinating because of the ever moving history and characters around her. Skip over the overlong descriptions of funerals, royal weddings and coronation details.
I recommend this book to all fans of British royalty.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Wow! Did not want this to end!

Excellent narrator who brings the wonderful writing of this amazing woman's life directly to the reader in a very entertaining manner. There are not any negatives only incredible positives. You will also be enthralled!!

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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Accurate

Matriarch made this queen come alive through quotes from letters, diaries, and 3rd person accounts. Sounds boring, but it wasn't. I particularly enjoyed the accounts of the king who abdicated.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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overview on Queen Mary and the wisdom she showed

What did you love best about Matriarch?

Showed a viewed of Queen Mary seldom presented by biographers of King George V, Edward VIII George VI and Queen Elizabeth II. She became a real person who endured hardships with a strength and stoicism seldom seen. She was a remarkable person who saw far beyond the palace walls and into the future, She would have had made a great monarch in her own right.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

it was ok

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

yes.

Any additional comments?

The only real complaint I have is that it contained the usual nonsense written about Prince Eddy her original fiancé and 2nd in line to the throne Prince Albert Victor Duke of Clarence and Avon. Somehow he grew horns and a tail after his death. The Cleveland st. scandal and even Jack the Ripper. Since the 1980s Prince Eddy has been examined by historians in a new light, New letters and writings have been found that point to a sensitive serious young man who had the worst possible teacher who blamed all the short comings of the education he gave both prince Eddy and prince George on the supposed stupidity and laziness of his pupils. Eddy was also friends with Lewis Carol and others at college who thought him a nice young man. The great love of his life was his cousin Alexandra who married Czar Nicholas of Russia who later lost her life as well as her entire family at the hands of the Russian revolutionaries. t does sort of seem that many historians when the heir dies and the spare is left to rule the heir is turned into a monster so we can say thank God it was George who lived to be king not Eddy, I see that as unfortunate and also inexcusably biased. As historians out first duty is to the truth of as close as we possible, In truth Eddy would probably made a good king with May at his side and had the kgind of court she would have really liked full of people interested in politics science and the arts, She made an excellent wife to King George encouraging him and reading to him to teach him how to be a better king. The longevity of the house of Windsor can be attributed to Queen Mary and that is a great legacy,

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Interesting, informative, and insightful

What made the experience of listening to Matriarch the most enjoyable?

The narrator is engaging, not overdone, The historical facts are written in a way that is enticing, bringing the historical figuress to life.Very educational without being dry.

What did you like best about this story?

The depiction of the events written in a way that stuck to the facts, while being entertaing.

What about Corrie James’s performance did you like?

Excellent. Articulate, perfection diction and pleasing voice.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

no

Any additional comments?

very well written and narrated.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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I will want to read it again!!!

I’m two thirds of the way in, and I can already say I will want to read this book again someday… so much new information!

I have read and seen and listened to many many biographies and documentaries about the British Royal Family, the Windsor’s in particular, yet there was surprisingly little on George V and Queen Mary.

This was a great find.

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

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Wonderful

Matriarch is one of the most enjoyable nonfiction works I have read in years. Such a magnificent story of people who are truly interesting and who have played a prominent role in the world for centuries. The author neither glamorizes royalty nor spend time in criticism of the institution but rather tells the story of an amazing person and her family. Highly recommended.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Paragon of control and grace.

Where does Matriarch rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Top 50.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Well, these were all real people, so I can't think of them as characters, whether I liked any of them in particular or not. I learned a lot about Queen Mary from this bio. Previously I had the impression that she was a rather stiff, emotionally distant person, and I found little in this book to contradict that. I did gain insight and appreciation for her father-in-law, King Edward VII, son and heir of Queen Victoria. His reputation as a socialite and playboy was in part the result of being trapped in a marriage to a neurotic, manipulative wife, and in part because of his lengthy, unfulfilling stint as Prince of Wales, the heir to the throne who cooled his heels for decades before his long lived mother finally passed away. Edward, or Bertie as he was called before his reign, was quite a Renaissance man. He had great personal warmth and a sense of humor that included the ability to laugh at himself. King Edward was far from the stiff, formal 19th century-style monarch that his mother was and oddly, his own son became. I would like to have met him.

What about Corrie James’s performance did you like?

Beautiful voice for this story. Nice pacing and emphasis, nothing shrill or over the top.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No.

Any additional comments?

I sensed a certain bias by the author in favor of Mary as an individual and a queen, and in favor of the institution of monarchy. The bias didn't detract from the book, but it didn't convince me that monarchy has a place in modern society. That said, I do enjoy reading about it as a past method of government. Understanding the nature of hereditary rule and the people who tolerate bring so ruled does explain a great deal of history. Another point is that much of this book revolves around detailed inventory and descriptions of Queen Mary's vast jewelry collection, her gowns, and her hairstyle, which seemed to be rather shallow topics. A bit less emphasis of those matters would have been nice, unless of course they were essential to Queen Mary's character. In that case, the queen was more shallow than otherwise portrayed.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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REALLY WELL EXECUTED HISTORICAL TOME

I wrote a review, which your computer program obliterated. This is the second time this has happened. Im trying to do Justice to the author and narrators of these really good books, but this Kindle Fire just doesn't seem to want me to do it! I will try again zON MY COMPUTER. perhaps that will work

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Bravo!!

This is a must read/listen for all Anglophiles. Well researched & presented. Great narrator. I've been to Windsor & seen Queen Mary's dollhouse as her tomb at St. Gorge's Chapel. I've also read other books on her; this is the best book on Queen Mary. Bravo!!

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