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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

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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!!

70 of 70 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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.

59 of 60 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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.

36 of 37 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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.

24 of 25 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Very interesting read

I really enjoy this book. Queen Mary led an exceptional life. She was glue holding the Royal family together at crucial times. She was so devoted to her country and people and put that above nearly everything else. since new discoveries and declassified documents we know that the Duke and Duchess of Windsor were actually not very nice people who admired Hitler and in fact did aid the enemy. Thank God he abdicated. I did sort of 2ish I could have told Queen Mary to have a little fun. My one source of criticism is the view of her original intended Prince Eddy. He was not the horrible person he was portrayed to be. He was not terribly mature but he was not an idiot who just had sex with everybody including boys. There is no real proof be was involved in the Cleavland street scandal. He was thrown under the bus by a man he had the misfortune to have known. Overall I really enjoyed the book and the narrator was excellent.

46 of 49 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing window into a changing world

An amazing book!! An easy read and very informative, Queen Mary is a fascinating person who got a biography she deserves. The book is clearly spun in her favor but, it inspires a great feeling of nostalgia for Queen Mary’s world which does not exist today. It might be easy to over look her in the history of the British monarchy but the book makes a compelling argument for her significance in shaping and protecting the monarchy we know today. She seems to have been everything a great royal can be.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • 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.

28 of 31 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • B Rose
  • Hillsborough NC
  • 03-08-18

Misleading title

This book has very little about Queen Mary. It’s more about history of England which I’ve already listened to many times. If you’re new to British History this would be good although there are better ones. If you skip the first eight hours you’ll hear about Mary otherwise don’t bother.

26 of 29 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Very enlightening

Thoroughly enjoyed this story. Queen Mary was a remarkable woman and lived through and in very interesting and turbulent times. Wonderful narration as well.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

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.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful