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Publisher's Summary

The King's Speech was written by London Sunday Times journalist Peter Conradi and Mark Logue - grandson of Lionel Logue, whose recently discovered diaries and correspondence contain fascinating details about these true events.

At the urging of his wife, Elizabeth, the Duke of York (known to the royal family as "Bertie") began to see speech therapist Lionel Logue in a desperate bid to cure his lifelong stammer. Little did the two men know that this unlikely friendship - between a future monarch and a commoner born in Australia - would ultimately save the House of Windsor from collapse.

Through intense locution and breathing lessons, the amiable Logue gave the shy young Duke the skills and the confidence to stand and deliver before a crowd. And when his elder brother, Edward VIII, abdicated the throne to marry for love, Bertie was able to assume the reins of power as King George VI - just in time to help steer the nation through the dark waters of the Second World War.

Bonus Audio: This special edition includes a recording of George VI's historic speech announcing to the British people the United Kingdom's 1939 declaration of war with Germany.

©2010 Mark Logue and Peter Conradi (P)2011 Tantor

What members say

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  • Overall
  • Howard
  • Cumberland, MD, United States
  • 02-28-11

As enjoyable as the film, and then some.

Written after the movie was already in production this books tells much more of the impact Lionel Logue had over Bertie. (The subtitle is a bit presumptuous that Mr. Logue did it on his own but the story doesn't make that mistake.) It's a look behind the curtain in how confidence was instilled in the future monarch by a self-trained commoner and their long friendship which followed. This book is also gives a glimpse at how the art of corresponding, journaling and diary keeping allows future generations to learn about their forefathers. The authors paint an interesting canvas of the times these persons lived and the adversities they endured. If you enjoyed the film and want to experience more of the relationship between the Prince/King and the commoner I believe you will find this enjoyable.

45 of 45 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

See the Movie Instead

This is the story of Lionel Logue, the self-taught speech therapist who assists the future King George VI of Britain in overcoming his speech impediment. Information about Logue was gleaned from diaries and journals he kept, and subsequently discovered by his grandson Mark, one of the authors of the book. Ultimately, we learn a little bit about British history and how the monarchy operates behind closed doors, including the shocking murder of King George V by his own family. We learn little; however, of the techniques that Logue used to reach and train "Bertie." We have a far better understanding that this future king was abused, bullied, frightened, none-to-bright in his academic endeavors, and totally unprepared to take over the responsiblities of the monarchy when his brother, Edward, abdicated. The best thing about this book was the inclusion of the real recording of George VI's historic speech. I give the book three stars for its historical significance, but it is rather boring in parts with its dependence on a minutiae of details that quickly overwhelms the relationship between the two men. The movie was much more interesting than the book. See the movie for a truly inspirational and great story.

19 of 20 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Cheers for Mr. Logue

I saw the movie but this is so much more of the story. It was well worth the time to hear more of the story and so great that family story can come out through the efforts of a family member.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Jeanette
  • Kerrville, TX, United States
  • 04-20-11

The King's Speech

This book is a story told through the diaries and letters of Mr. Logue and George VI. It's merit is in that actual letters tell the story rather than a modified script. We are a world entertained by enhanced reality. This story isn't going for the amazing turning point or surprise ending. The movie was wonderful--but it would have been less if not based on the reality of these two men. It moves us because the achievement was real and not invented.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Shelly
  • La Mesa, CA, United States
  • 03-30-11

A worthwhile read

I have yet to see this movie, but wanted to read the book before I saw it. I cannot speak as to the differences between movie and book, but I DO believe that this book goes into far more details about the main characters lives than the movie ever could. Working with speech therapists in my chosen career, perhaps I found the topic more interesting than your average person would. But that said, I believe that people can get a lot from this book. Its a good history lesson as well as a life lesson about determination, friendship and respect. I found it a very enjoyable read.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Excellent on All Fronts

If you could sum up The King's Speech in three words, what would they be?

Biography, History, Drama

What was one of the most memorable moments of The King's Speech?

Listening to the actual broadcasts of the King as he progresses, both personally with his speech abilities and historically with the history of his country--just the right amount of footage

Which scene was your favorite?

The scene before, and through, the King's coronation speech

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Bertie's (later Duke and still later King) life as a young boy and young man

Any additional comments?

I had doubts that I would truly enjoy this, since I had loved the film and worried it would be a repeat. It adds much more to the story. Simon Vance is absolutely perfect as he narrates.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Not like the movie

If you are expecting this to be a book that looks like the movie, it is not. This is pure history. It is a nonfiction book dealing with the relationship between Lionel Logue and the Duke of York, through his ascension to become King George VI, over many, many years. It is a passionate tribute to an unusual friendship beyond teacher and pupil. This version does contain a few of the original speeches by his Royal Highness. The content is taken from the Logue family history collection; which is massive in its scope of personal documents. It was particularly enjoyable and educational even if I’m not British.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • Harriet
  • Westlake, OH, United States
  • 08-03-12

A Peak into the Life of Royalty

This book was fascinating and it gave a lot of background into the history of the Post WWI and up until 1950. This book is written from the letters and memoirs of the author's grandfather, who was the King of England's Speech therapist and friend. It was neat to see how much the royal family came to appreciate the help the king had been given with his speech. If you like history or enjoy learning about royalty, you will really like hearing this book. There is not much info on the type of speech therapy that was used. But it was encouraging to see how much change in speech that even an adult can obtain with the proper help and encouragement. I enjoyed the actual audio-recordings of the King's speeches that were included appropriately.

I can say that the book has no issues with swearing unlike the movie version. I could and will share this with the family.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Not quite the movie

The timeline in the movie was condensed, making for a more dramatic storyline. Major improvements in King George's stutter occurred far in advance of the famous radio addresses during WWII, not almost simultaneous to it, as the film would have you believe. Logue's diary excerpts are almost fawning of the king in an era that is obviously pre-dates today's tabloid journalism. Still, a fine listen, if a little slow in parts.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Lorraine
  • Titusville, FL, United States
  • 01-23-12

outstanding KIng's Speech

Would you consider the audio edition of The King's Speech to be better than the print version?

Since I haven't read the print version, I really can't give an opinion at this time. All I know is that it was remarkably good.

What did you like best about this story?

I like history, so it really provided me with some real good facts about that time in the English history

What does Simon Vance bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

a unique inside of the relationship between the King and his Doctor.....

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

It made me laugh , but it also made me cry, even at that period of time people didnt understand the horrible helplessness people had with stuttering, and made fun of it.

Any additional comments?


2 of 3 people found this review helpful