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The Crown: The Official Companion, Volume 2: Political Scandal, Personal Struggle, and the Years That Defined Elizabeth II (1956-1977)
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The Crown: The Official Companion, Volume 2: Political Scandal, Personal Struggle, and the Years That Defined Elizabeth II

(The Crown: The Official Companion #2)

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  697 ratings  ·  94 reviews
Can't get enough of The Crown? In this must-have exploration of the history behind seasons 2 and 3 of Peter Morgan's Emmy-winning Netflix drama, the show's historical consultant answers all your questions alongside beautifully reproduced archival photographs.

In this eye-opening companion to seasons 2 and 3 of Netflix's acclaimed series The Crown, renowned biographe
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published November 19th 2019 by Crown Publishing Group (NY) (first published 2019)
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Average rating 3.68  · 
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 ·  697 ratings  ·  94 reviews

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Start your review of The Crown: The Official Companion, Volume 2: Political Scandal, Personal Struggle, and the Years That Defined Elizabeth II (1956-1977)
Caidyn (he/him/his)
This volume was just average. It shoved two seasons into one book and, that meant, it didn't go into the history as much. I wanted it to go deeper into the content and history behind the story, but it felt like a retelling of each episode rather than really showing me what happened. So, it was just fine. ...more
Dec 27, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. As interesting as book 1, but this volume felt a bit rushed. It’s shorter than the first volume even though this one covers twice as many episodes, and it shows. The first volume was constructed with lots of pictures, notes on characters, and stills from the show-but this one doesn’t have any apart from a couple pictures and the photo stills in the middle. Also a couple of copy errors-it makes the book feel rushed, and most of the most important parts of the episodes are either not me ...more
Jan 26, 2020 rated it liked it
I still enjoyed this book, but I wish they hadn’t jammed in 2 seasons to one book - I feel like there’s so much more I wanted to know, and there wasn’t time to get to it all. And I would have loved more behind the scenes photos and info as well, to mix with the (somewhat dry) history. I’m a huge history nerd, and *I* was bored at certain points. I feel like I did learn a lot though — who knew that Buzz Aldrin took communion on the moon?! That was super cool! Solid 3 stars, perhaps 3.5 if I’m fee ...more
Carolyn Harris
Feb 13, 2020 rated it liked it
The Crown: The Official Companion Volume 2 provides some useful background information for Seasons 2 and 3 of The Crown series on Netflix but it is far less detailed than Volume 1, which is about the first season of the same series. Lacey quickly summarizes historical events such as the Suez crisis or the process of decolonization in the Commonwealth which deserve a more in depth treatment. Individual historical figures, such as Prince Philip, are discussed in more detail.
There is a defensive to
Nov 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019, history, royalty
This was wonderful, as was the first volume! It is a solid background to each episode in seasons 2 and 3- obviously it won't give you the entire story behind a particular historical figure or event, but enough to help grasp the basics. I listened to the audiobook, and as I suspected, Alex Jennings was fantastic for round 2. Certainly worth a listen/read if you enjoy the Crown! ...more
Anita Boeira
Dec 12, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020
The first volume was excellent. The second volume seemed to have been written by a completely different person. I also really enjoyed all the photography in the first volume, but on the second volume the glossy photo pages where stills from the show. I am much more curious about the real imagines that inspired the tv show. I’ve already watched the tv show!
Apr 19, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While I was watching seasons 2&3 of The Crown there was several points where I wondered where the truth started and stopped...which bits had been massaged for dramatic effect, and which bits are supported by historically accurate evidence? This volume provides exactly what I was looking for - background information about the events portrayed, referenced back to historical sources. It is written by Robert Lacey who is the show’s historical consultant.
Apr 25, 2020 rated it liked it
The history comparison (to the tv series) is still fascinating, but the substantial format differences (fewer, smaller pictures, less detail overall) between this book and the first one took some time to get over.
Oct 01, 2020 rated it it was ok
Not as good as the first book. The writing was rambling instead of well encapsulated fleshed out stories, and there weren't nearly as many photos. Skip this one. Too bad since the first one was so enjoyable! ...more
Caroline Bews
Feb 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Love Alex Jennings as a narrator so enjoyed listening to this.
Feb 09, 2020 rated it liked it

I didn't enjoy this as much as Volume 1. I thought it was a bit rushed and it didn't go into a lot of the history like the previous novel.
Sarah Messenger
Mar 15, 2020 rated it liked it
Enjoyed but not as good as volume 1
Mar 23, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, biography
Accessible, engaging history of Queen Elizabeth II's reign in the1950s-70s. ...more
Saturday's Child
A quick, easy but still interesting read over the Queen's Birthday long weekend. ...more
Dec 11, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: audio, owned, nonfiction
This is only interesting if you read or listen to it as you watch the show or soon after. I haven't seen season 2 in awhile and the beginning of the book was quite boring. By the middle of season two, though, I liked the dive into backstory I'd forgotten.

As for the was interesting to walk around listening to it, but I'd already extensively googled and most of the articles I found breaking down real vs dramatized events from the show were more engaging.

Part of the pitch of the book is
Jennifer Desi
Jan 08, 2021 rated it liked it
Enjoyable read for fans of The Crown. Only 3 stars because there are a few small mistakes and cramming two seasons into one book meant there weren’t as many details or photographs as volume 1. Still....looking forward to volume 3 and future seasons of The Crown!
Lyn Ryan
Jan 13, 2020 rated it liked it
Interesting companion to the Netflix series, that fills in the political landscape and clarifies the rumours from the facts. Much of the series is imagined, but based on detailed research. Some events are totally fictious, but, according to the authors, designed to reveal deeper truths.
I am very interested in the series. It is a remarkable achievement, beautifully acted and edited. I am interested in this idea that the monarch supposedly floats above politics like some guardian angel. This seri
Gabriella Rusk
Jan 26, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020
This book is for super fans of Netflix’s hit series, The Crown which recently released its third season. It delves into each episode and breaks down the historical elements, sorting out fact from fiction. I’ve loved watching this television show and have always wanted to learn more about the actual history of it all. Robert Lacey explains where the writers may have drawn inspiration for some of the dramatic elements in the series.

Heavily researched and intensely detailed, Lacey also points out w
Leslie Goddard
Jan 17, 2020 rated it liked it
I love the idea of a companion book to the popular series, and this book will undoubtedly thrill historians who want to delve deeper into the issues surrounding the monarchy in the years covered by the show. There is a good amount of political background, as well as broader historical context (e.g. the moon landing and Phillip’s fascination with it).

As a fan of the show, however, I found it curious that they did not devote any time here to going behind the scenes. You get no insight into casting
Karen Adams
Jan 03, 2021 rated it really liked it
I found these two volumes while trying to learn more about 20th century British history.

I compare my addiction to "The Crown" to 2020: like something I never would have expected to happen and didn't see coming. I have never been interested in the Royal Family, although I always liked and felt for Diana. But the show turned me into a huge fan of The Queen. She has seen and been through so much, and most importantly, she has evolved. After season 2, I was in awe of her strength, wisdom, and power
Matt Conger
Jun 26, 2020 rated it it was ok
A disappointment compared to The Crown: The Official Companion, Volume 1: Elizabeth II, Winston Churchill, and the Making of a Young Queen.

This book has (roughly) the same number of pages as that one, but covers twice as many episodes and has a font size that is ~30% larger. It also dropped the actor/character explanations as well as the longer, thematic essays that aren't episode-specific. Even the number and variety of photographs in this volume are far less than what had been shown in the pr
May 04, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Season 2 and 3 Combined

Not as good as the first book because was more political detailed and less interesting. Also this book felt rushed particularly at the end to get the book published as quick as possible for the release of season 3. Recent events mentioned like the 2019 birth of Megan and Harry's baby Archie as a comparison event. Season 2 portion of book was definitely not a companion book for series when it was originally released because this was released after Season 3 came out. Not a g
Jan 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
As The Crown becomes more episodic after its stellar first season, so too does this book. There isn’t much sense of a throughline here, so I think it holds up less well as an independent read. However, it proves to be a terrific companion when watching the show – I read it concurrently with watching Season 3 of the show, and found it very enjoyable, and preferable to the usual googling I did whenever the credits rolled.

On some topics, this book is a gem, fleshing things out and providing welcome
Jul 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
I was disappointed by the decision to downgrade the design from Volume 1 (which was a meticulously-rendered, gorgeous thing) into, for lack of a term, a "regular" book. The first one felt like an art book; this one felt quite plain in comparison.

The content itself was quite good, though at some points I had to wonder why Lacey spent his time focusing on the things that he did; in the chapter for "Dear Mrs. Kennedy", he spends remarkably little time discussing the titular Kennedy (and never clari
May 22, 2020 rated it liked it
I've enjoyed many of Robert Lacey's books, particularly his well-regarded biography of the Queen. I expected this to be mostly recycled material, but was pleased to find much that is new. For those who love the Netflix series "The Crown" as well as British history, this companion book is very good. Lacey adds many insights into the events depicted in the first season of "The Crown" and provides helpful context and analysis. The first volume is more comprehensive. This second volume feels more ru ...more
Sep 27, 2020 rated it liked it
It somehow took me almost a year to finally finish this book!! I wanted to finish before the next season was released and it was a great recap of the previous two seasons.

I enjoyed the chapters about Prince Charles and Princess Margaret - the more scandal, the better! I'm really excited for next season/the next book because Princess Diana will be introduced.

The chapters about the Prime Ministers were extremely boring and dry to me. Churchill was awesome, but I didn't care for Eden, Wilson and Ma
Helen Baker
Feb 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing
My daughter brought me this for Christmas as she knows how much I have loved the Netflix series.
I have to say I wasn’t sure if I would enjoy the book but it was very thoughtful of her.
Anyway I loved it, it is really interesting and filled me in so much on the history and political background of our country. I was born in 1968 and this book covers 1956-1977 ending with the Queens Silver Jubilee that I do remember being 9 at the time.
I mainly read fiction so a factual book is quite a departure f
Dec 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I read the companion book for series one of The Crown and having finished this one, I can say they add hugely to my enjoyment of the show. I love history and it is important to me to know what information I see on the show is fact and what are the wonderful screenplays of Peter Morgan. Care is taken to dig into the historical events that character stories are woven around. It's just getting additional information about something that I already love. Great book! ...more
Mar 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, royals
I both liked and disliked this book in comparison to Volume 1. In some ways, it was quicker and to the point. The context of history versus the drama was always at the forefront. The first volume had many asides into characters and events that left it disjointed. Volume 2 keeps the historical background in terms of the episode. However, the book isn't as in-depth as Volume 1 probably due to combining 2 seasons into one. You're left wanting more footnotes or insights. ...more
Apr 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed the book as I did Volume 1. I had wished however that Mr. Lacey and "The Crown" team would have had separate volumes for Seasons 2 and 3, like they did for Season 1. I feel like other reviewers did, that Volume 2 became too condensed and a lot of the detail that was part of Volume 1 was missing from Volume 2.

I'm hoping that Netflix brings us a Season 4 and Mr. Lacey brings us a Volume 3.

Just as with "PBS Masterpiece Victoria", I'm hooked on "Netflix The Crown".
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Robert Lacey is a British historian noted for his original research, which gets him close to - and often living alongside - his subjects. He is the author of numerous international bestsellers.

After writing his first works of historical biography, Robert, Earl of Essex and Sir Walter Ralegh, Robert wrote Majesty, his pioneering biography of Queen Elizabeth II. Published in 1977, Majesty remains

Other books in the series

The Crown: The Official Companion (2 books)
  • The Crown: The Official Companion, Volume 1: Elizabeth II, Winston Churchill, and the Making of a Young Queen (1947-1955)

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