The Windsors at War – new book and publication date

‘The activities of the Duke of Windsor on the continent in recent months have been causing HM and myself grave uneasiness as his inclinations are well known to be pro-Nazi, and he may become a centre of intrigue.’
Winston Churchill, July 1940

The new book from Alexander Larman, The Windsors at War: The Nazi Threat to the Crown, will be published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson in the UK on 7 March 2023 and St Martin’s Press in the US on 18 April 2023. Telling the previously untold story of the uneasy relationship between the Royal Family, the Nazis and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, it’s rich in fascinating and never-before-told detail about precisely what happened behind closed doors at a time of national crisis.

Advance praise:

A worthy successor to Larman’s excellent account of the Abdication Crisis, exhaustively researched and written with wit and brio, The Windsors at War proves conclusively that the Duke of Windsor betrayed both his brother King George VI and his country. If there is ever a prequel to Netflix’s The Crown, it should be based on this book. Saul David

As profound and exhilarating as it is revelatory – and it is highly revelatory. Larman is a natural-born storyteller with a keen eye for a precious anecdote. I relished this. Daisy Dunn, author of Not Far From Brideshead: Oxford Between the Wars

Alexander Larman’s masterful follow-up to The Crown in Crisis combines thrilling action scenes with political skulduggery and intimate character studies of everyone from King George VI to his brother and nemesis, the Duke of Windsor. Deeply researched, fascinating and compelling from start to finish.Dan Jones, author of Powers and Thrones: A New History of the Middle Ages

The definitive version of how the Royal Family behaved in World War Two, by turns fast paced and furious. I couldn’t put it down, except for occasional gasps of incredulity. Larman combines forensic investigative skills with some beautiful prose as he lays out in grim, unremitting detail how the Windsors wavered at critical moments in the war. What a story this is, and what a family. Anne Sebba, author of Ethel Rosenberg: A Cold War Tragedy

Alexander Larman’s The Windsors at War is genuinely revealing, politically insightful, scrupulously researched, and has the narrative pace of a champion thoroughbred. It is also an eloquent study of two royal brothers, and of duty and betrayal. Tina Brown, author of The Palace Papers

UK readers can pre-order here: https://www.weidenfeldandnicolson.co.uk/titles/alexander-larman/the-windsors-at-war/9781474623933/

And US readers here: https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250284587/the-windsors-at-war


The Crown in Crisis – paperback publication

I’m delighted to announce that the paperback edition of The Crown in Crisis was published today, and is available, as they say, from all good bookshops nationwide, whether in person or online. The book that the Wall Street Journal called ‘as much fun to read as a good political thriller’ has previously unpublished and unknown documents and interviews within it, and can now be purchased for a mere £8.99. I believe that it’ll be published in the US as a paperback later this year, and will of course update this with any details when relevant…

The Crown in Crisis – Wall Street Journal review

I was utterly delighted that the first major US newspaper review of The Crown in Crisis was from such a respected title as the Wall Street Journal, and even more so that it was a rave, from the legendary Moira Hodgson. It ended ‘Mr. Larman brings his cast of characters vividly to life in a fast-paced, lively staging of the drama. It’s as much fun to read as a good political thriller.’ I am exceptionally pleased and relieved that people are responding so well to the book so far in America – at a time when there’s plenty of other things going on- and if you did enjoy it, please leave a review on Goodreads.

US Publication for The Crown in Crisis – today!

Amidst all of the horror – and the hope – that is in the world today, I’m thrilled that today sees the publication of The Crown in Crisis in the US. I really hope that readers in America enjoy the book as much as those in Britain seem to have so far, and I hope at some point this year to be able to visit. In the meantime, along with lovely reviews from the trade titles Publisher’s Weekly and Kirkus Reviews, I’m delighted that it’s been reviewed favourably by BookPage, Library Journal and The Literate Quilter.

As ever, if you’ve enjoyed the book, do consider putting a review on Goodreads, it does make a huge difference. And thanks to everyone who’s already done so or has been in touch to say that they’ve enjoyed it, it means a great deal to me.

Wallis Simpson: Femme Fatale

I was very pleased to be asked to take part in Channel 5’s recent documentary about Wallis Simpson, Wallis Simpson: Femme Fatale, which was broadcast last night and is available on streaming services now. It was a pleasure to be featured alongside the eminent likes of Anne Sebba and Hugo Vickers, and I hope that anyone who watched it enjoyed their contributions, as well as my remarks. I was especially pleased that my comparisons between the Royal Family and the Mafia made the final edit…

Crown in Crisis – Daily Mail Books of the Year

I was delighted to see in today’s Daily Mail that Ysenda Maxtone Graham (whose excellent British Summer Time Begins is one of the best books of the year, and a deserved bestseller) has included The Crown in Crisis in her round-up of the best royal books. She calls it ‘a compelling countdown to the abdication’, and that ‘a cast of fascinating minor characters walk across the set of this fast-paced story’. Read the full piece here.

The Crown in Crisis – news and US reviews

I was delighted that Crown in Crisis was well reviewed in the Critic magazine recently (‘judiciously weighed and ceaselessly entertaining’), and very much enjoyed a couple of appearances at virtual literary festivals, as well as an in-person one at the excellent Appledore festival in Devon in September.

However, to celebrate America having elected a President who is himself a history graduate, I’m now gearing up for the US publication of the book on January 21, 2021 – the day after the inauguration ceremony. Disappointingly it doesn’t look as if I’m going to be out in the country in person for publication, but my excellent press and marketing team are beginning to arrange some virtual events and I look forward to publicising them here nearer the time.

And the first reviews have come in from the trade press, which I’m delighted with, not least because Kirkus – the Bible of the industry – has given it a starred review and called it ‘an entertaining, multilayered study of the abdication crisis of 1936 and the many traitorous and sycophantic characters surrounding King Edward VIII…Larman captures the era’s delicious wit, spite, and malice.’ And Publisher’s Weekly were similarly kind, saying ‘even dedicated royal watchers will learn something new from this comprehensive account of one of the biggest scandals in the history of the British monarchy.’

I was also thrilled to see that the book appeared in The Chap magazine (which, full disclosure, I am the literary editor for, but I had no hand in Gustav Temple’s erudite and perceptive review). It described the book as ‘A suspense thriller about the abdication, complete with end-of-chapter cliff-hangers that leave you on the edge of your chaise longue…fresh and engaging…a thrilling, eloquent and witty tale.’ I am delighted.

The Crown in Crisis – Pod Save The Queen, BBC History and The Independent

As we head into the second month of The Crown in Crisis’release, the coverage keeps on coming, and I’m delighted by it all. I recently had the chance to chat to the Mirror’s excellent Pod Save The Queen podcast about the abdication, Meghan and Harry and all things royal-related, and you can have a listen to it here.

I was delighted that the book was included in the September edition of BBC History Magazine, and the author and critic Nigel Jones wrote  ‘Alexander Larman has done a thoroughly researched job in retelling this oft-told tale and has made some fresh discoveries that shed new light on the affair.’ There was also a short but sweet mini-review in the Independent, which described the book as ‘an engaging, detailed, and suspenseful read; one that is equal parts empathetic and entertaining’, and ended by promising ‘You will be gripped.’ I sincerely hope so. 

Observer and Sunday Mail

I was delighted that the Observer reviewed my new book last weekend. Hephzibah Anderson called it ‘an enduringly relevant chapter of British history, brought to life with panache’. There was also a major news feature in Scotland’s best-selling Sunday paper, the Sunday Mail, about Edward and Wallis’s ill-fated trip to Balmoral in September 1936. Any parallels between their visit and a planned one by Harry and Meghan is surely purely coincidental…

More, as ever, to come this week, and beyond.