It is fitting to compare the longevity of the Queen Mother’s life with a magnificent hand-woven carpet running along a length of parquet down a torch-lit ancestral hallway: she was the embodiment of the twentieth century precisely because her life more or less spanned it. She was born on 4 August 1900 and (allowing for a bit of overhang into this century) died on Easter Saturday, 30 March 2002.
Tinkety tonk old fruit
Absorbing letters from an ebullient queen
Counting One’s Blessings: The Selected Letters of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother
edited by William Shawcross
Macmillan, $44.99 hb, 686 pp, 9780230754966
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Michael Shmith is a Melbourne-based writer and editor. He edited The New Pocket Kobbé's Opera Book with George Lascelles, the seventh Earl of Harewood. He is currently writing the history of Cranlana, the Toorak home bought by Sidney and Merlyn Myer in 1920.
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