Teri Kelly's Reviews > The King's Speech: How One Man Saved the British Monarchy

The King's Speech by Mark Logue
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's review
Apr 24, 2011

really liked it

The quack who weren't a quack saved the House of Windsor(again), gor blimey strike me pink he did he d-d-d-did. True enough, Lionel Logue, expat Aussie, part-time treader of the boards and unlicensed speech therapist (having taught shell-shocked Aussie WWI vets to talk again) found himself inadvertently thrust into the role of the King's (stutterer George VI) ventriloquist. And a hansome job he made of it too. Proving along the way that paper credentials are worth nothing, and that the patient/therapist relationship counts for everything. Of course, dear old Bertie (the Duke of York) wouldn't have been King anyhow if his philandering brother hadn't upped and offed with that ghastly Wallace, but then again the royal lineage always has been as quirky as a rabid corgi.

The King's Speech, following hot on the heels of the big screen adaptation starring Geoffrey Rush (or is it vice versa), fills in all of the gaps, and proves that the word is always superior to film. Put together from the (presumed lost) diaries and letters of Lionel Logue by his grandson Mark, and writer Peter Conradi, this utterly charming “companion” piece is full of the oft-tangled on/off again therapy affair between the Logues and the Windsorites. Guide the King through his coronation and war speeches Lionel Logue did; have tea with Queen Elizabeth the Logues did, but beyond that - beyond the death of George VI and the succession of Princess Elizabeth, there remained for Lionel Logue a place in the hearts of the Windsors. Save his King in a time of crisis he might well have, but Lionel Logue was very much his own man, as this enlightening account clearly demonstrates.

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