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Commoner cures King

  • Feb 13, 2011
Long before he became King George VI, long before he became the Duke of York, young Albert, son of King George V and great-grandson of the great Queen Victoria but known as Bertie to his immediate family, developed serious speech defect.  As a young man, Navy trainee, and royalty in waiting, the defect worsened to produce a shy, even retiring young man who would stammer severely on hard "k" sounds like the ones in this review title.

As the Oscar-nominated movie of 2010 and this book of the same title detail, Bertie found his cure in an expatriate Australian commoner living in London.  While he lacked formal credentials, Lionel Logue produced practical results working with the hardest speech defect cases, and when Bertie's wife Elizabeth (the beloved Queen Mum who lived a long and fruitful life until her death in 2002) introduced her husband to Logue, a professional and then personal relationship began and expanded that resulted in a King worthy of his name and his country.  

Mark Logue is Lionel's grandson, and wrote his story by finding, bringing together, and researching in Lionel's extensive collection of letters, clippings, and artifacts detailing the therapy and friendship.  While the book covers the same ground as the movie, it provides much more background on Lionel and his wife Myrtle, a powerful woman who assisted Lionel throughout his life and career.  The book also makes clear that the movie, to tell its story in audience-acceptable length, has compressed Logue's constant long-term support on many key speeches for more than a decade beginning in the mid 1930's into just a few key speeches.

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February 24, 2011
I didn't realize that there was a related book out. I'll have to check it out. It sounds fascinating!
February 22, 2011
Sounds like an interesting book. I saw the film and thought it was ok.
About the reviewer
Todd Stockslager ()
Ranked #37
I love reading and writing about what I have read, making the connections and marking the comparisons and contrasts. God has given man the amazing power to invent language and the means to record it which … more
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About this book


The "quack" who saved a king... Featuring a star-studded cast of Academy Award® winners and nominees, The King's Speech won the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival People's Choice Award and is generating plenty of Oscar buzz. This official film tie-in is written by London Sunday Times journalist Peter Conradi and Mark Logue--grandson of Lionel Logue, one of the movie's central characters. It's the eve of World War II, and King Edward VIII has abdicated the throne of England to marry the woman he loves. Never has the nation needed a leader more. But the new monarch, George VI--father of today's Queen Elizabeth II--is painfully shy and cursed with a terrible stammer. How can he inspire confidence in his countrymen when he cannot even speak to them? Help arrives in speech therapist Logue, who not only is a commoner, but Australian to boot. Will he be able to give King George his voice? The King's Speech tells an inspiring tale of triumph over adversity and the unlikely friendship between a reluctant king and the charismatic subject who saved the throne.
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ISBN-10: 140278676X
ISBN-13: 978-1402786761
Author: Mark Logue
Genre: Biographies & Memoirs, History
Publisher: Sterling
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"Commoner cures King"
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