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.

Guardian and Oldie – reviews

A quick but delighted post to say that the book has been reviewed glowingly by Nicola Shulman in the August issue of The Oldie and Kathryn Hughes in this week’s Guardian Saturday Review. Shulman called it ‘this great and well-told story’, and Hughes, acknowledging that I have ‘big shoes to fill’, writes ‘Larman shows a delicate touch too in not banging home the obvious contemporary resonances.’ The Guardian have also made it their Book of the Day. I am very, very happy.  

The Crown in Crisis – BBC History podcast, Reader’s Digest and more

Usually, by this stage in the publicity process, I am desperately casting about to find some item of interest about one of my books. However, with The Crown in Crisis, my cup runneth over, thanks to the kind way in which people have continued to respond to it and asked me to discuss it. Here are a few of the recent highlights.

I sat down with my good friend Dan Jones a couple of weeks ago in his sitting room, amidst a truly phenomenal rain shower, and we had a splendidly entertaining hour’s chat about all things abdication-related for the BBC History podcast. You can have a listen to it here. I’ve also recorded a podcast for the Daily Mirror’s Pod Save The Queen series, and will put a link up to it soon.

As ever with a book like mine, there are articles to be written, and I have enjoyed writing them. I looked at the murky circumstances of the George McMahon assassination attempt in July 1936 for The Critic, tried to give an insight into the behind-the-scenes creation of the book for The Arbuturian and wrote about Edward VIII’s disastrous trip to Scotland in September 1936 for Scotland magazine. I also gave an interview to Italian TV station RAI about potential Italian involvement in the assassination attempt, which you can watch here. The blustery weather made it more eventful than I might have expected.

Reader’s Digest magazine have very kindly made my book their ‘Recommended Read’ for their August issue, and have called it an ‘absorbing new book, [which] takes us through the whole. tangled story with great clarity’. It’s a three-page story, and well worth a read, which you can have here.

More reviews are coming over the next few weeks – fingers crossed – and I’m also thinking about some forthcoming events. I’m doing a couple of private talks in August for members of the Royal Over-Seas League and the Oxford and Cambridge Club – via the medium of Zoom, of course – but my first (and probably only) live event of 2020 will be in September at the Appledore Book Festival in Devon. You can book tickets here – it promises to be the first drive-in literary festival I’ve ever done, and probably quite the unique experience for us all.

As ever, thanks to everyone who has bought the book and enjoyed reading it. It is for all of you that I spend the hours, weeks and months researching and writing, and your continued support is hugely welcome. I am deeply grateful.