by Andrew White | March 10, 2017 | Comments Off on Book Review: Matriarch – Queen Mary and the House of Windsor
Matriarch – Queen Mary and the House of Windsor, Anne Edwards, Rowman and Littlefield, 1984
After falling in love with the Netflix series The Crown, I was compelled to find something to affirm and give me some background on one of the strongest characters in the series, Queen Mary. It turns out that this book certainly conveys the same role and representation enacted by Queen Mary in The Crown. She plays a pivotal role in the Monarchy at a time of great change, and indeed, in the period in which the British Empire effectively comes to a close.
Of course she starts her life just at the time the British Empire was peaking in terms of scope and breadth in the mid-nineteenth century and Anne Edwards gives us a colorful and rich tapestry on which to see the young queen grow up and watch all the political movements among the Monarchy across Europe. The manner in which Queen Mary held the Monarchy and the selfless manner in which she held herself and the family around her is both startling and awesome. The script given to the actress who plays Queen Mary in The Crown brings this home in spades, and Anne Edwards does a nice job in explaining how this Queen came represent so much. The challenges and failings of those around young Mary of Teck seem to give her all the more reason to faithfully discharge the duty Queen Victoria, the mother of the British Empire, wrapped her up in.
Of course in this modern era such devotion to duty is no longer loved or even sought. Our progressive friends have been encouraging a more insular, live-life-to-the-fullest existence that, even if they are not royalists, they ought to be in awe of such selfless behavior. But in truth it is not selfless either. Queen Mary watched the Monarchy around her begin to change as Britain and the world began to change around her. She was selfish in that she fought to preserve an idea in which, at the time, the country looked up for inspiration. But this need, this desire for such ideas was chaning and slowly declining but it was not all that visible at the time. She held that vision and goal close to her chest and forced everyone around her to do the same. It seems she never forgave her older son for his Abdication that forever changed the flow of Monarchist history. For he was unable to follow her lead and give his life to the calling, and so her second son was forced into action. And thus the book ends midway through The Crown.
Very readable and exciting run through the changes and challenges of Monarchy at a critical period in Britain’s and, as it turns out, world history. Very well recommended 8 out of 10.
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