The King's Speech (Anglais) CD – Livre audio, Version intégrale
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This is the full story of the remarkable relationship between Lionel Logue, an Australian speech-therapist and the future King George VI, who suffered from a stammer and was berated by his father for his nervous and tongue-tied speeches. Drawing exclusively on Lionel's diaries and archive, it throws an extraordinary light on the intimacy of the two men, despite their differences. Never before has there been such a personal portrait of the British monarchy.
This recording is unabridged. Typically abridged audiobooks are not more than 60% of the author's work and as low as 30% with characters and plotlines removed.
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Lionel Logue was an Australian who moved to England during the 1920s. He was a pioneer in the teaching of elocution and as what we today call a speech therapist. His success brought him to the notice of the Royal Household, and he was soon requested to take on another patient: H.R.H. Prince Albert, Duke of York, second son of King George V.
Bertie, as the Royal Family called him, had a severe stammer that had begun during his spartan childhood and became worse as he grew up. Already outshown by his glamourous older brother the Prince of Wales, Bertie's speech difficulties caused him endless embarassment and hid his many fine qualities. Fortunately, Bertie had a wife who was determined to help her husband. Elizabeth, Duchess of York either introduced her husband to Logue or was otherwise instrumental in helping the two to connect. Over the next several years Logue met with his royal patient many times and eventually succeeded in helping the Duke gain more self confidence and speak more clearly.
Logue and Bertie's success came to be of national importance in December 1936 when King Edward VIII suddenly abdicated and left the throne to his younger brother. Now King George VI, Bertie was required to make many speeches both in person and over the air. He never completely mastered his stammer, but his improvement, fostered by Logue and by Queen Elizabeth, enabled him to speak fluently enough to satisfy all but the most severe critics. This was critical, because King George was to lead his nation and Empire through some of its darkest times of war and economic downturn.
Mark Logue is the grandson of Lionel Logue. This book is based in part on Lionel's diaries, and contains much new material on the King's speech problems and the therapies that alleviated them. It is very well written and illustrated and will be of interest to historians, those who deal with speech difficulties, and anyone who enjoys reading about determined, quietly heroic people.
I thought it interesting that the filmmakers changed a few things (as they always do). Large things like (spoiler alert) that Bertie stopped his sessions with Logue because he was doing so well, not because they had a falling out. And small things like a joke between the brothers taken seriously in the movie makes one aware that Bertie and David were much closer to each other before the abdication, than the film would lead you to believe.
If you loved the film, but you would like the "real story" then you will love this book. And it really makes the relationship between Logue and Bertie seem even more amazing.
Albert, son of King George V and younger brother of Edward VIII, had developed a stammer during his youth, which made him shy and uncommunicative. As someone who has struggled all my life with a relatively mild stutter, I thought it was good that Mark Logue did not attribute the cause of Bertie's stammer to any one thing. Stuttering is an impediment which seems to arise from both/either physical and psychological reasons and most of the time cannot be properly ascribed to any one thing. In Bertie's case, it was possibly from a difficult youth. He and his siblings were not close to their parents - as was common in those days - and his parents seemed to rather scare him when they were together. A sadistic nanny and the changing of his left-handedness to right may have contributed to his stutter. In any case, he was a man who could not always control his own speech, and he was moving into some situations where he would be called on to speak publicly and to do so often.
After his marriage, Bertie consulted Lionel Logue who had emigrated to England from Australia with his wife and young family and set up a practice in speech therapy in London's Harley Street. After much practice, Bertie was able to give speeches, but he depended on Lionel Logue's continued help as he became king - first in peacetime and then in wartime. The many speeches by radio that George was called on to make in the 25 or so years of his rule were always difficult for him, but Logue's work made them bearable to the king. Logue and George VI became friends - of a sort - because of their work together.
Mark Logue and Peter Conradi were able to look through Lionel Logue's case files and put together a very good record of Logue's work with George VI. Whether Lionel Logue "saved the monarchy" is a bit in doubt, but he did give confidence and success to the George VI when he - and the nation and the Commonwealth - needed it the most.
A note to the authors - Wallis Simpson was from an old Baltimore, Maryland family, not a Pennsylvania one.