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Summary

A major figure behind his nephew Philip's marriage to Queen Elizabeth II and instrumental in the royal family taking the Mountbatten name, Dickie Mountbatten's career included being Supreme Allied Commander of South East Asia during World War Two and the last Viceroy of India. 

Once the richest woman in Britain and a playgirl who enjoyed numerous affairs, Edwina Mountbatten emerged from World War Two as a magnetic and talented charity worker loved around the world. 

From the prize-winning and best-selling historian Andrew Lownie comes a nuanced portrayal of two very unusual people and their complex marriage to mark the 40th anniversary of Lord Mountbatten's assassination by the IRA. 

From British high society and the South of France to the battlefields of Burma and the Viceroy's House, this is a rich and filmic story whose characters include all the key figures of the Second World War. From Churchill and Montgomery to Roosevelt and Eisenhower; the Royal Family, including the Duke of Windsor, George VI, the Queen, Prince Philip and Prince Charles; to Charlie Chaplin, Noel Coward, Salvador Dali, George Gershwin, Grace Kelly and Merle Oberon. 

©2019 Andrew Lownie (P)2019 Bonnier Books UK

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All detail..nothing of the man.

Tedious journey through the career of Mountbatten. No insight into the psychology of the man. The relationship with his mother or the reasons for his tolerance of his wife's affairs.
All the references to his bisexuality and paedophile activities are trotted out en masse in the last chapter ...if they had been woven into the narrative we might have a clearer picture of the man.
It will only be a tenacious listener that gets as far as the last chapter.

11 people found this helpful

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Worst book ever

What a waste of money. Listening to the privileged and sexually deviant lives of these two people.
I found it all very disturbing .

10 people found this helpful

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Couldn’t finish listening.

I listened to a couple of (separate) hours of this but sadly could not carry on. The content is so interesting but it is read in a monotone and so horribly fast that it was unpleasant. Great shame as the subject matter deserves better.

5 people found this helpful

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Interesting.

I enjoyed this book, despite some of the mixed reviews. It is a fascinating insight into the lives of two privileged, but very dysfunctional, people. I disagree with the reviewer who stated that this book doesn't give much insight into Mountbatten the man. I came away with the strong impression of a very emotionally immature man, promoted way beyond his capabilities because of his connections - something that clearly still goes on in our society today. The book would have made much more sense if Mountbatten's alleged homosexual and pederastic proclivities were discussed in a chronological way throughout the book, instead of right at the end. It would have contextualised the difficulties that defined the couple's entire relationship.

Altogether an entertaining book, with a stellar cast of characters, capably read by the author - always a plus.

3 people found this helpful

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Balanced and detailed

Thorough account of Mountbatten and his marriage. At times a bit laboured and repetitive about innumerable ‘dalliances’. However it is only a fair attempt to examine the contradictions of a full life. MB emerges as vain and over promoted but the author does give him credit where due and reflects he was often only a voice rather than the true author of events.

3 people found this helpful

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A brilliant insight into the Establishment and British history

Very well read by the author himself. Very clear and precise and easy to keep up also liked that most chapters were just short of 30 mins. Just the right length to dip into a listen.

Very interestingly laid out history of the fascinating Mountbattens. Their part in history and an fantastic insight into the Establishment and the power they hold.

The author also doesn’t shy away from both Mountbattens personal and sexual lives some of which is kept secret to this day. Were they both bi-sexual? This book isn’t afraid of delving into that.

Most importantly though it’s tells the story of British history covering the wars and the partition of India and the end of the British Raj.

2 people found this helpful

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ILLUMINATING AND THOROUGH

Much research has obviously been done to give the balanced eventful story of the extraordinary lives of the Mountbattens. The frank, calm, and measured reading of the book by its author added to its veracity.

2 people found this helpful

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Loved every second of this

So well read by Andrew Lownie. Easy to listen to.
Highly recommend.New material and info i didnt know.

2 people found this helpful

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popularist tabloid newspaper - lightweight

A book that pretends to be an authoritative story about the Mountnattens but is, unfortunately - lightweight and concerned mostly with largely unproven stores about sex.

Go Elsewhere

1 person found this helpful

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Intriguing Account

Good account of the Mountbattens, still unsure how to view them! Gives the good and bad bits of them.

1 person found this helpful