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Publisher's Summary

The official biography of Queen Mary, grandmother of the current queen, originally commissioned in 1959 - with a new foreword by Hugo Vickers.

When Queen Mary died in 1953, James Pope-Hennessy was commissioned to write an official biography of her - unusual for a queen consort. Queen Mary's life, contrary to popular belief, was essentially dramatic, and she played a far more important and influential role in the affairs of the British monarchy than her public image might have otherwise suggested. Using material from the Royal Archives, private papers, and Queen Mary's personal diaries and letters, Pope-Hennessy's biography was a remarkable portrait of a remarkable woman and received rave reviews across the press.

Long out of print, this new edition of Queen Mary will be accompanied by a new foreword from royal biographer and writer Hugo Vickers.

©1959 James Pope-Hennessy (P)2021 Tantor

What listeners say about Queen Mary

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Excellent! UPDATED review after 2nd listen.

Just listened to this Biography about Queen Mary for the second time.

I did so for a reason. I had just finished "MATRIARCH" by Anne Edwards, which was very well done, but with a very few, shall we say, historical discrepancies. I still highly recommend her book as well. Ms. Edwards is a very thorough researcher as she knows her subjects well and is an excellent biographer in he own right. Her writing style keeps you interested in the subject throughout. I have read the majority, if not all of her books. HOWEVER.........

......... After listening to both books in very close succession, this Biography of Queen Mary is still the Best hands down!
in my humble opinion, if you only want to choose one, you MUST choose this one, "QUEEN MARY" written by James Pope-Hennessey. Yes, this Biography was written in the 1950's, when it comes to posthumously written biographies, that should not matter, it's not like their life story is going to change! MOST Historians, Hugo Vicors for one, also say this is still the Best written biography period! Please do not pass this up because of when it was written! But it because it is, by far, the Best written biography about Queen Mary; also regarded as, if not the Best, by some historians, those same historians still considered "QUEEN MARY" by James Pope-Hennessey, as one of the best biographies of the Twentieth Century! I agree with them 100%, and my interest is historical biographies, I've read or listened to very many (over 100). So, PLEASE believe me when I say this is by far the Best written so far!
A very close second is the biographies of "PETER THE GREAT" and "CATHERINE THE GREAT" by Edward K. Massie. Those were both great and very well written as well. Now you have two more just reads! LOL However, the audio version of "CATHERINE THE GREAT" was very well done, the audio of "PETER THE GREAT" was not so good, the narrator is horrid! UNFORTUNATELY, that is a must read.

Best Factual & Interesting Biography Ever Written! No BS to make it entertaining! Imagine the actual truth and excellent writing can do that! What? Yes, it can be done, and this Biography proves that! This is not like the majority of biographies written, which are more often than not that writer's 'interpretations' of the information collected, the BS filled books that are loosely called biographies today. Now read an honest and real Biography here, Queen Mary by James Pope-Hennessey. Then you be the judge and see for yourself what a first rate biography truly is! This IS the BEST!!!!!!

Extremely well written, based on her own writings in her diaries and correspondences with and about family, the writings of her husband George V' to her, which were so sweet and excerpts from his diaries. It is said that Queen Elizabeth II gave Mr. Pope-Hennessey unprecedented access to the Royal Archives, and she did! Along with the Archives of many friends and relatives both in Great Britain, Europe and the US. This book is by far the best researched and most in-depth biography I have ever read/listened to. It is amazing to realize the unimaginable amount of diaries, correspondence, interviews he pulled together and then to take all that first hand information, put it in chronological order and then write this amazing biography of what turns out to be an extremely remarkable person.

One has to be a very remarkable & honest writer to do what Pope-Hennessey has done, he let his subject, Queen Mary herself (and her closest relations & friends return correspondence,etc.) write this book. This is a true historical account of her life, something that is rarely done today. He never wrote about rumors or speculations and made them factual, he would prove or disprove the rumors, mostly disprove with the actual facts!

When he was chosen to write this Biography by The Palace, he originally turned it down, when he finally accepted, the Queen placed no restrictions on what he could see in the Archives of what he could say/write about. This is the product of QE II & the Palace trust in him as a writer, in my opinion he does not disappoint!

This is pure truth and unvarnished facts put together, for a look into the life of a person who was in the front row of an amazing amount of history! From Queen Victoria to Elizabeth II! Five Sovereigns, three Coronations (including her own as Queen Consort of George V), the first and second World Wars, the loss of so many relatives, the of majority of European Royal Families & Russian Czar Nicholas& his family, due to these wars, the Abdication Crisis caused by her own son,David aka Edward VIII aka Duke of Windsor (&Wallis Simpson, Dutchess of Windsor) and her other son Albert/Bertie and wife Elizabeth (George VI & Queen Elizabeth aka the Queen Mum (The Kings Speech) having to step into the breach, putting her Granddaughter as heir presumptive and then heir, todays much beloved Queen Elizabeth II, you can see who she gets her stoicism from, Queen Mary!

If you enjoy: Royal Biographies this is a must read; History in general, you can't miss this first hand account of one of a few people who lived through so many events that shaped the world as we know it today. Buy 'Queen Mary' by James Pope-Hennessey now!

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Loved!

I have read a lot of books about QM, and this was one of my favorites! Full of tidbits from letters and journals. Highly recommend!

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Genuine lovely lady

This is one of the best biographies that I have ever read. Mr. James Pope -Hennessy seemed to care about his subject and did a beautiful job with this lovely lady. Even though it was a long book, it was so well done that the time flew by. The narrator, Gareth Armstrong, did an excellent job. I highly recommend.

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Gareth Armstrong makes this come alive!

A perfect narrator. Catches just the right tone and playful spirit of the book. A pleasure to listen to. Queen Mary is not, in and of herself, a subject to inspire much interest but Mr. Pope-Hennessy’s words read aloud by Mr. Armstrong will keep you actively engaged throughout.

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A true masterpiece!

What a magnificent book. A work of great scholarship & art. Every word carefully considered. Funny, reverent, & true.

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Good read

Excellent. Read like a novel. Showed her to be much more than some accounts of history have made her out to be.

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How Do I Love Thee....

Let me tell you how much I love this book....I've listened to it 3 time in the last 2 years. It is one of the most acerbically witty, thoughtful, and entertaining books I have ever read. Much like the subject herself. The narrator's voice, intonation, and pattern of speech was tailor made for this gem.

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Very Engaging

Tells the story of an era as well as of the person. I recommend this book even to those who think they already know much about Queen Mary. James Pope-Hennessy's wit and subtle point of view carry you along with ease.

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The Definitive book about Queen Mary

Pope-Hennessy has written the best book about Queen Mary. It’s been imitated, but never equaled. Queen Mary is the main reason England still has a Monarchy. She dedicate her entire life to that Creed.