George V


The lasting reputation of George V is for dullness. He was a crack shot, and an outstanding stamp collector, but that’s about it. The flamboyance and hedonism of his father, Edward VII, defined an era whose influence and magnetism is still felt today. The contrast between the two could hardly be greater. But is that really all there was to King George, a monarch who faced a series of crises thought to be the most testing faced by any twentieth-century British sovereign? As Tommy Lascelles, one of George’s most senior advisors, put it: ‘He was dull, beyond dispute – but my God, his reign never had a dull moment’. Jane Ridley is one of the finest royal biographers, celebrated for her research, highly entertaining style, and piercing insights. How this supposedly limited man managed to steer the crown through so many perils and adapt a Victorian institution to the modern world is a great story in itself.

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SKU: 9780099590125 Category: Tag:


The prequel to The Crown: the first truly candid portrait of George V and Mary, the Queen’s grandparents and creators of the modern monarchy

Shortlisted for the Elizabeth Longford Historical Biography prize and the History Reclaimed Book of the Year prize

The lasting reputation of George V is for dullness. However throughout his reign, the monarch navigated a constitutional crisis, the First World War, the fall of thirteen European monarchies and the rise of Bolshevism. The suffragette Emily Davison threw herself under his horse at the Derby, he refused asylum to his cousin the Tsar Nicholas II and he facilitated the first Labour government.

How this supposedly limited man steered the Crown through so many perils is a gripping tale. With unprecedented access to the Royal archives, Jane Ridley has been able to reassess the many myths associated with this dramatic period for the first time.

‘Wonderful… Never a dull paragraph’ Ysenda Maxtone Graham, The Times

‘Magnificent… An evocative and touching portrait of a surprisingly impressive man’ Philip Hensher, Spectator

‘A big, beautiful beast of a book. Fair, thorough and unexpectedly funny’ Lucy Worsley

Additional information

Weight 0.423 kg
Dimensions 19.8 × 12.9 × 4 cm






559 , 16 unnumbered of plates




941.083092 (edition:23)


General – Trade / Code: K