This is not the book I thought it would be; I assumed that with a movie tie in book cover this was the book that inspired the 2010 Academy Award winning movie The King’s Speech but instead it is a book written by Logue’s grandson after being approached by film producers and inspired to learn more about his father’s father. However, it is a fairly unattached biography that leads me to believe co-author Conradi was the primary writer and the duo traded on the younger Logue’s name for increased awareness. But I’m a cynic.
On its own this is a perfectly well written biography about an interesting man and the unprecedented relationship he had with the King of England. Lionel Logue was an Australian who perfected the art of elocution as well as taught himself the practice of speech therapy in the early 20th century. Eventually he made his way to England where his reputation landed him the honor of assisting then Duke of York’s life long stammer. Interestingly, if you’ve seen the movie, Logue and Bertie’s professional relationship began years before he ascended to the throne after his brother’s abdication. It was also well known that he was self taught and not a medical doctor, which the movie presents as more of a scandal.
While Bertie went through a stretch of independence, stemming from the success of his treatment, which kept the pair physically and professionally apart Logue and Bertie had a close relationship; they exchanged letters throughout their relationship and once Bertie became King GeorgeVI Logue was nearby for most of his biggest speeches. There are a lot of personal correspondence quoted within The King’s Speech and their close relationship is undeniable.
While this isn’t the story I set out to read it was still a more than acceptable start to CBR10.