"Britain and the world would never have heard the voice of King George the Sixth [1895 to 1952] but for one man, and that man alone knows all the secrets of the King's dramatic and courageous struggle to conquer his stammer."
He is Mr. Lionel Logue [1880 to 1953]. Australian-born...specialist in curing speech defects."
The above comes from this fascinating book by Mark Logue and Peter Conradi. Mark Logue is the grandson of Lionel Logue. He is a film maker and the custodian of the Logue Archive. Conradi is an author and journalist.
This book details events before and goes beyond where the movie (of the same name) ends in 1939, to the deaths of the King and Lionel Logue in the 1950s. It clarifies what REALLY happened. That is, this book is much more factual than the movie (which is to be expected).
What I especially enjoyed about this book is the use of the actual words used by Lionel Logue and others interspersed throughout the narrative. The authors says it best with respect to Logue:
"The tone, not just of Logue's letters, but also of entries in his diary, both of which have been quoted extensively in this book, reveal a deep respect not just for the King as a person but also for the institution of monarchy."
I also appreciated the pictures throughout this book. There are two sets of actual black and white pictures of this time period. One set of sixteen pictures is found at the end of chapter three while the second set of eighteen pictures is found at the beginning of chapter ten. The quotation that titles this review and the quotation that begins this review comes from a picture of a Feb. 10, 1952 newspaper found in the second set. As well, each chapter title page has a picture.
The book shows clearly, among historical details of the time, that there was much affection between the King and Logue. However, the movie, being a visual medium, provided deeper emotional impact (at least for me).
Finally, this book does not explain exactly how Logue treated the King. It only explains that the King's speech improved dramatically with Logue where countless others had failed.
In conclusion, this book, in my opinion, is an important historical document. Read it to learn about "The man who came to London unknown and gave the King the power to speak." I will leave you with one of Lionel Logue's actual tongue twisters:
"She sifted seven thick-stalked thistles through a strong thick sieve."
(first published 2010; acknowledgements; introduction; 16 chapters; main narrative 230 pages; notes; index)
<<Stephen Pletko, London, Ontario, Canada>>