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While the queen's military was performing dazzling exploits on the continent, her own attention - indeed her realm - rested on a more intimate conflict: the female friendship on which her happiness had for decades depended and which became, for her, a source of utter torment.
At the core of Anne Somerset's riveting new biography, published to great acclaim in England, is a portrait of this deeply emotional, complex bond between two very different women: Queen Anne - reserved, stolid, shrewd; and Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough, wife of the queen's great general - beautiful, willful, outspoken, and whose acerbic wit was equally matched by her fearsome temper.
Against a fraught background, the much-admired historian, author of Elizabeth I , tells the extraordinary story of how Sarah goaded and provoked the queen beyond endurance.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Lesley on 04-01-17
Spoilt by a poorly edited, inadequate narration
The information was well researched and interestingly laid down. The narrator, however, realllly reallllllly let it down. She needs to work on breath control because at times, she established a pattern of 3 words (delivered with a downward inflection implying a full stop) 4 words (full stop) thus leaving sentences hanging.
I realise that a person who mispronounces words is a victim of a language-poor environment. They only know of words by reading, not by hearing. I don't wish to demean such readers, but this particular narrator must have been living under a rock not to know how to pronounce such common words as papal (pronounced by Anne Somerset as (p)apple) or papist (pronounced by Ms Somerset as pap ist ) or Ovid as (oh)vid. There were too many of these to list here... so SHAME on the EDITOR who gave himself a mention at the end.
Part of the storyteller's art is NOT to jolt the reader out of the spell of the world they are creating. Poor breathing causing strangely delivered sentences and mispronunciations do just that. I kept being reminded that I was listening. Mind you. I had quite. A few laughs. But I don't think. This was. The intention of. The Writer.
If the information wasn't so well written I would have returned this book. Persevere if you can. There are stretches where the narrator does relax and read in an adequate manner.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful