Book Review: Princess Mary: The First Modern Princess by Elisabeth Basford

princess mary elisabeth basford

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Princess Mary, later Princess Royal and Countess of Harewood, was born in 1897 as the third child of the then Duke and Duchess of York, later King George V and Queen Mary. She was born during the reign of her great-grandmother Queen Victoria and subsequently lived in six reigns – that of her great-grandmother, grandfather, father, two brothers, and finally that of her niece Queen Elizabeth II.

She went on to marry the future Henry Lascelles, 6th Earl of Harewood, in 1922, and they had two sons together. Mary was known for her charitable works, and many people still have the Princess Mary Christmas gift box, which was sent out to all members of the Armed Forces in 1914.

Princess Mary: The First Modern Princess by Elisabeth Basford is the first full-length biography of Princess Mary. Elisabeth Basford has finally brought Mary back to life, and we are treated to a wonderfully researched book with tons of information. Princess Mary truly was one of a kind, and this book certainly shows that. However, at some points in the book, the information becomes a little dry, and it might be a little boring for some. As Mary did not have any significant scandals and such, you won’t find much drama here. But then again, I do not think one needs scandal in order to be worthy of being written about. (For some reason, I am often asked, ‘But what did she DO?’ when I tell people I am writing about a certain person)

Another minor disappointment for me is the cover of this book. She is completely unrecognisable to most people as it is, but this photo makes it even worse. Surely something better could have been found?

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the book and applaud the fact that someone dove into Princess Mary to give us this excellent book.

Princess Mary: The First Modern Princess by Elisabeth Basford is available now in the US and the UK.

About Moniek Bloks 2702 Articles
My name is Moniek and I am from the Netherlands. I began this website in 2013 because I wanted to share these women's amazing stories.

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