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History Happy Hour

Episode 101: Traitor King: The Scandalous Exile of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor

Tea With Hitler: The Secret History of the Royal Family and the Third Reich, Dean Palmer I found this to be a well-written and fascinating account of the tangled and confusing connections between the British Royal Family and high-level Nazi officials as well as the efforts made to conceal these connections after the war. It was a bit salacious at times, but I still think for someone who was not aware of the deep German roots of the Royal Family it was very interesting.  

King Edward VIII, Philip Ziegler As an “official” biography of Edward, Ziegler’s biography is thorough and well written but, perhaps, a bit too forgiving. If you want the basics of Edward’s life before diving into the abdication crisis this would be a good place to start.  

The Crown in Crisis: Countdown to the Abdication, Alexander Larman This book focuses in on the very final moments of Edward’s reign and efforts to prevent what was considered a constitutional crisis from ripping the country apart. Larman does a good job of writing a compelling story that reads a bit like a thriller.  

The King Who Had to Go: Edward VIII, Mrs. Simpson and the Hidden Politics of the Abdication Crisis, Adrian Phillips Too often, the story of the abdication crisis focuses on personalities and the “love” story of Edward and the American divorcee Wallace Simpson. This book makes the important point that the crisis had much more important political implications for Great Britain. If you want to read WHY the crisis in important, this is a good place to start.

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