The King’s Speech: How One Man Saved the British Monarchy by Mark Logue and Peter Conradi - review by Jonathan Mirsky

Jonathan Mirsky

‘He is a good fellow & only wants careful handling’

The King’s Speech: How One Man Saved the British Monarchy


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This is the poignant story of Lionel Logue, the Australian speech therapist (and grandfather of the co-author) who, beginning in 1926, helped the man who would become George VI to control a serious stammer. (I have a lifelong stammer that I, too, have learned to disguise.) Curiously, the book was written after the much-praised film of the same name. Its subtitle is absurd: the monarchy was never threatened by the king’s stammer; but George’s happiness was.

Logue was a master of a now lost art: elocution. Elocutionists gave public performances, especially in America (in Australia one of their goals was to rid Australians of their regional accent). After Gallipoli, Logue began treating shell-shocked veterans who had lost some or all of their speech. He

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