Anne de Courcy

A Steel Marshmallow

Elizabeth the Queen Mother

By

Hutchinson 618pp £20 order from our bookshop

To most people alive today, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother was a diminutive figure in floating sweet-pea chiffon crowned by a face-framing hat, gloved hand waving from a Royal Ascot coach or accepting a birthday bouquet from some adoring member of the public.

What lay behind that sweet, impenetrable smile? Was it, as her biographer Hugo Vickers seems to suggest, emotions baser than the dedication to duty and discretion that had so marked her life?

Follow Literary Review on Twitter