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A taut and gripping thriller: King Edward VIII is on the throne and keen to broker peace at any cost -- WWII could turn out very differently.
Autumn 1939. In a parallel world where Edward VIII never abdicated and the Second World War might have taken a very different course.
As the storm clouds gather over Europe and German troops are amassing, a clandestine 'King's Party' of fascist peace campaigners is stealthily undermining the war-effort. Back from Ceylon to work in the offices of Duration, the newly-founded literary magazine, Cynthia Kirkpatrick finds herself at the centre of a web of intrigue. London shivers with uncertainty. Country house parties are full of conspiring Tory MPs while a clerk from the American Embassy is busy pilfering Presidential telegrams. Everyone is under suspicion as MI5 are widening their net; and journalist Beverley Nichols is engaged on the most important commission of his life -- a secret King's Speech to shock the nation. And as Hitler's encroaches further into Europe, Cynthia soon discovers that taking sides can be a very dangerous business.
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D. J. TAYLOR was born in Norwich in 1960. He is a novelist, critic and acclaimed biographer, whose biography of Thackeray was a critically-acclaimed success and whose Orwell: The Life won the Whitbread Biography prize in 2003. His most recent books are Kept: A Victorian Mystery (a Publishers Weekly Book of the Year), Bright Young People: The Rise and Fall of a Generation 1918-1940, and the Booker-longlisted novel Derby Day.From Booklist:
What would have happened if King Edward VIII of Great Britain had not abdicated in 1936? That is the poser of Taylor’s new novel. Wallis Simpson has died of appendicitis, leaving Edward a grieving king with mildly pro-German feelings. As German troops are massing, a strong faction in England is secretly campaigning to undermine the war effort. Back from her father’s tea plantation in Ceylon, Cynthia Kirkpatrick begins working for a fledgling literary magazine and is thrown together with a disparate group, hovering in and about the faction. When she falls for a handsome American who says he’s a code worker from the American embassy, she finds herself taking sides and suddenly in serious danger. Taylor writes as if he lived in 1930s England, with a languid grace that suddenly ripens into suspense. The characters are as mesmerizing as the plot is well-paced and intricate. And the question of whether Edward will follow the faction or his own mind remains tense to the end. --Elizabeth Dickie
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Book Description Random House. Condition: New. pp. 384 Illus. Seller Inventory # 53968912
Book Description Chatto & Windus, 2013. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0701187875