Traitor King

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What to expect


A Daily Mail Royal Book of the Year, 2021

‘Darkly compelling…hundreds of eye-popping details…Gripping … damning portrait of the Windsors’ Daily Mail ‘Book of the Week’

‘Briskly written and compulsively readable… – A.N. Wilson, TLS

‘Meticulously researched’ – Spectator

‘Entertaining… convincing… timely. Urgent reading for royals’ – Evening Standard

December 1936. The King of England, Edward VIII, has given up his Crown, foregoing his duty for the love of Wallis Simpson, an American divorcée. Their courtship has been dogged by controversy and scandal, but with Edward’s abdication, they can live happily ever after. But do they?

In Traitor King, bestselling historian Andrew Lownie draws on hitherto unexplored archives to uncover the dramatic world of the Windsors post-abdication. Lownie reveals a couple obsessed with their status, financially exploiting their position and manipulating the media. Filled with treachery and betrayal, this is a story of an exiled Royal and the Nazi attempts to recruit him to their cause. And of why the Royal family never forgave the Duke for choosing love over duty.

Critics Review

  • Meticulously researched

  • Briskly written and compulsively readable…Does Andrew Lownie persuade me that it is worth telling the story again, and that he has made out the case for his unforgiving title? The answer is an unambiguous yes.

  • Entertaining… convincing… timely. Urgent reading for royals

    Evening Standard
  • Darkly compelling…hundreds of eye-popping details…Gripping though it is, this is an unrelentingly damning portrait of the Windsors

    Daily Mail
  • Compelling… a devastating portrait of the duke and duchess… a timely point of comparison when set against the ongoing trials and tribulations of the House of Windsor

    The Tablet
  • Lownie reveals Edward not as a dupe of the Nazis, but an active and culpable collaborator…The list of individuals interviewed and archives consulted is formidable. The more impressive then, that this is a wonderfully readable and succinct story

    BBC History Magazine

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