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Topic: Entertaining novels about the British Royal family

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Subject: Entertaining novels about the British Royal family
Date Posted: 8/18/2008 5:54 AM ET
Member Since: 7/1/2008
Posts: 2,835
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Alan Bennett's An Uncommon Reader. Alan Bennett is always worth one's time. In this one, he explores what happens when Queen Elizabeth, pursuing a fleeing corgi, ends up in a bookmobile. To be polite, she takes a book. Then she becomes hooked on books. Very witty and quite amusing,

Sue Townsend is also one who is very, very funny novelist, short story writer, and autobiographer.  In The Queen and I, a Republican government abolishes the Royal Family and moves them to a housing estate (i.e., a housing project) and puts them on the dole (i.e., welfare). How each copes is laugh out loud funny. When this was written, the Prince and Princess of Wales were still married, though Princess Anne is divorced. Last chapter is dumb, but the book is worth it. If you can, get the reccorded book, which has all the accents.

The "sequel," written last year I think, is Queen Camilla.

These are all keepers for me, but maybe someone will put them up for swapping.

Date Posted: 8/18/2008 9:33 AM ET
Member Since: 9/16/2005
Posts: 463
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These books sound great! 

Didn't Alan Bennett write "The Lady In The Van" and "The Clothes They Stood Up In"?  I have this book (both stories in one book) on my TBR. 

I'll have to keep an eye on this post to see if anyone has anymore titles. 

Date Posted: 8/18/2008 10:30 AM ET
Member Since: 7/1/2008
Posts: 2,835
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Alan Bennett is really good. I think he was involved with that bunch that included Peter Sellers, Dudley Moore, and many Pythons.

A number of his short sketches were on PBS, as Talking Heads. maybe Masterpiece theatre? All they are is a character speaking. One with Maggie Smith called "Bed Upon the Lentils" was brilliant. Actually, all are very, very good. You can get them at amazon, both video and in book form. (I'm keeping mine.)

Peter Dickinson wrote 2 mysteries with an alternate Royal family. Time is about the 90s. What happened before is Edward Vii's older child Albert Victor did not die (said by some to be Jack the Ripper but probably not true and nothing to do with this book). So he becomes king instead of his younger brother (George V, the present Queen's grandfather). Very good mysteries. The sequel is Skeleton-in-Waiting. I keep meaning to start a post on Peter Dickinson, who is one of my favorite writers of all time. Excellent YAs as well.

Robert Barnard is another excellent mystery writer. Some are a series about Percival "Perry" Trethowan, ia Scotland yard detective from  a family that closely resembles the Mitfords. Death and the Princess involves the Royal family.

  • Sheer Torture (1981)
  • Death and the Princess (1982)
  • The Missing Bronte (1983)
  • Bodies (1986)
  • Death in Purple Prose (1987) aka The Cherry Blossom Corpse (This one is about death at a Romance writers conference!)
Date Posted: 8/19/2008 3:41 PM ET
Member Since: 7/29/2008
Posts: 1,520
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I  have loved all of Sue Townsend's books.  Hadn't heard of Queen Camila, but have put it on my wish list.

I agree re the Peter Dickenson and Robert Bernard books...two of my favorite authors.

I picked up a book at the library a few weeks ago...not exactly the Royal Family, but close...Gone with the Windsors by Laurie Graham.  It is the saga of Wallis and David/Edward told through diary entries of a ficticous "childhood friend" of Wallis. Nothing that would make the top ten of all time fiction, but quite fun and entertaining.


Date Posted: 8/20/2008 2:53 PM ET
Member Since: 3/13/2006
Posts: 2,024
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I also thought immediately of Peter Dickinson.  I absolutely love his books.  I did not realize there were two royal family books.  I've only read King and Joker.  I'll have to order the other one right away!

Last Edited on: 8/20/08 2:54 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/20/2008 9:36 PM ET
Member Since: 7/1/2008
Posts: 2,835
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Have you read Eva and Tefuga and Death of a Unicorn? I love his stuff. He probably rates in my top 10.

Date Posted: 8/20/2008 9:37 PM ET
Member Since: 7/1/2008
Posts: 2,835
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Oh, and the royal sequel is very good. She's married.

Date Posted: 9/2/2008 4:51 PM ET
Member Since: 7/1/2008
Posts: 2,835
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I just re-read King, Joker. It is still really good.