Title: The King’s Speech
Editor: Mark Logue and Peter Conradi
Fun Fact: Stammering was referenced three times in the book of Isaiah and the Egyptians had a hieroglyph for it.
Review Summary: The amazing use of primary sources made this a moving story and a fascinating historical account.
As the Duke of York a stammer was difficult to live with so a speech therapist was essential. However, many were consulted without results until Lionel Logue, who attributed his progress to the Duke’s hard work and the rapport they established. In fact, the two became not only patient and therapist, but friends. This friendship lasted when the Duke’s older brother unexpectedly abdicated and he became King George VI. Logue’s help was invaluable in allowing the King to perform his duties and both men treasured their friendship throughout their lives.
Although the movie version of this story made the King’s seemingly small difficulty moving and dramatic, I was worried the book wouldn’t be able to do the same. Logue’s life was fairly ordinary except for his time with the king and a stammer seems like a very mundane problem. Fortunately, the book proved me wrong. The first hand accounts of Logue’s regard for the king’s friendship and the king’s gratitude gave the story the emotional punch it needed. It also turned out that many of the best lines from the movie were the real ones and so were included in the book.
The extra details of Logue’s life were also better than I anticipated. Although Logue is primarily remembered for his work with the king, the rest of his life made for interesting reading. Alive during WWI and WWII, Lionel Logue witnessed some fascinating historical moments and I enjoyed learning about these events through Logue’s first hand accounts. In terms of both historical interest and emotional impact, the use of primary sources made this book a great read.