The Secret of the Crown: Canada's Affair with Royalty, by John Fraser
About the book: Award-winning journalist, author, and royal authority John Fraser explores the endurance and allure of the Crown in Canada. With his trademark wit and artful agility, Fraser looks at the Crown's evolution from the Age of Deference to the era of celebrity to the present popular revival. He examines the differences between tribal monarchy and constitutional monarchy, the key roles of the governor general and the lieutenant governor, and the media's insatiable appetite for the Royal Family. Finally, he speculates on the future reign of Charles, Prince of Wales, and pays homage to Queen Elizabeth II on her Diamond Jubilee.
Erudite and highly entertaining, The Secret of the Crown offers a captivating appraisal of Canada's long-standing affair with royalty. This volume includes a lavish 32-page photo insert to create a spectacular visual history of the once and future crown.
Remembering the Bones, by Frances Itani
About the book: Georgina Danforth Witley shares her birthday—April 21, 1926—with Queen Elizabeth II, a coincidence that has led to an invitation to a special 80th-birthday lunch at Buckingham Palace. While she should be on her way to London, Georgie lies injured in a ravine not far from her own house, the result of a car accident en route to the airport. Desperately hopeful that someone will find her, Georgie relies on her strength, her family memories, her no-nonsense wit and a recitation of the names of the bones in her body—a long-forgotten exercise from childhood that reminds her she is still very much alive.Frances Itani brings us a novel that is charming and deeply felt, by turns fanciful and profound. Insightful and beautifully written, Remembering the Bones considers what a life is worth and reminds us that even the most ordinary of lives is extraordinary.
Serving Elizabeth, by Marcia Johnson
About the book: Serving Elizabeth begins in Kenya in 1952, during the fateful royal visit of Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh. Mercy, a restaurant owner, is approached to cook for the royal couple. Though she could use the money, she is a staunch anti-monarchist. She vows to stick to her principles, but her daughter, Faith, keeps trying to convince her to take the job. In London in 2015, in the production offices of a series about Queen Elizabeth, a Kenyan-Canadian film student, Tia, serves as an intern on the project. It's a perfect fit for her as she has been a fan of princesses her whole life. But when she reads the Kenya episode, she starts to understand that fairy tales and real life are very different things. Serving Elizabeth is a funny, fresh, and topical play about colonialism, monarchy, and who is serving whom -- or what.
The Gown, by Jennifer Robson
About the book: London, 1947: Besieged by the harshest winter in living memory, burdened by onerous shortages and rationing, the people of postwar Britain are enduring lives of quiet desperation despite their nation’s recent victory. Among them are Ann Hughes and Miriam Dassin, embroiderers at the famed Mayfair fashion house of Norman Hartnell. Together they forge an unlikely friendship, but their nascent hopes for a brighter future are tested when they are chosen for a once-in-a-lifetime honor: taking part in the creation of Princess Elizabeth’s wedding gown.
Toronto, 2016: More than half a century later, Heather Mackenzie seeks to unravel the mystery of a set of embroidered flowers, a legacy from her late grandmother. How did her beloved Nan, a woman who never spoke of her old life in Britain, come to possess the priceless embroideries that so closely resemble the motifs on the stunning gown worn by Queen Elizabeth II at her wedding almost seventy years before? And what was her Nan’s connection to the celebrated textile artist and holocaust survivor Miriam Dassin?
With The Gown, Jennifer Robson takes us inside the workrooms where one of the most famous wedding gowns in history was created. Balancing behind-the-scenes details with a sweeping portrait of a society left reeling by the calamitous costs of victory, she introduces readers to three unforgettable heroines, their points of view alternating and intersecting throughout its pages, whose lives are woven together by the pain of survival, the bonds of friendship, and the redemptive power of love.
About the book: In the summer of 1926, when Thelma Morgan marries Viscount Duke Furness after a whirlwind romance, she’s immersed in a gilded world of extraordinary wealth and privilege. For Thelma, the daughter of an American diplomat, her new life as a member of the British aristocracy is like a fairy tale—even more so when her husband introduces her to Edward, Prince of Wales.
In a twist of fate, her marriage to Duke leads her to fall headlong into a love affair with Edward. But happiness is fleeting, and their love is threatened when Thelma’s sister, Gloria Morgan Vanderbilt, becomes embroiled in a scandal with far-reaching implications. As Thelma sails to New York to support Gloria, she leaves Edward in the hands of her trusted friend Wallis, never imagining the consequences that will follow.
Bryn Turnbull takes readers from the raucous glamour of the Paris Ritz and the French Riviera to the quiet, private corners of St. James’s Palace in this sweeping story of love, loyalty and betrayal.
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