Abdication by Juliet Nicolson

Abdication by Juliet
England, 1936. After the recent death of George V, the nation has a new
king, Edward VIII. But for all the confident pomp and ceremony of the
accession, it is a turbulent time. Terrible poverty and unemployment affect
many, but trouble few among the ruling elite; for others, Oswald Mosley’s New
Party, which offers a version of the fascism on the rise in Germany, seems to
offer the vision of the future. Nineteen-year-old May Thomas has just
disembarked at Liverpool Docks after making the long journey by steamer from
Barbados to escape the constraints of her sugar-plantation childhood. Her
first job as a secretary and chauffeuse to Sir Philip Blunt, Chief Whip in
Baldwin’s Conservative government, will open her eyes to the upper echelons
of British society… The unlikely friendship she forms with Evangeline
Nettlefold, American god-daughter of the Chief Whip’s wife and an old school
friend of Wallis Simpson, will see her through family upheavals including the
shocking, sudden loss of her mother; but more significant for May, the
Blunts’ son Rupert has an Oxford University friend, Julian, a young man of
conscience for whom, despite all barriers of class, she cannot help but fall.
Secrets, hidden truths, undeclared loves, unspoken sympathies and covert
complicities are everywhere – biggest and most dangerous of them all, the
truth about the new King’s relationship with a married woman, and the silent
horror that few in Britain dare voice: the increasing inevitability of
another world war…

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Bloomsbury Publishing PLC


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