The Queen.London, Panther, Granada Publishing, 1984 Stock Code: 138078
NotesHarold Wilson's copy of this biography of his sovereign, inscribed to him on the front wrapper verso: "To Rt Hon Lord Wilson of Riveaulx, & Lady Wilson, House of Lords, S.W.1. 12/3/86" (the presenter unclear; the hand not matching that of the author). Wilson has intensely annotated eleven pages of the book (the rest unannotated), especially in the chapter dedicated to himself and the Queen (entitled "Ho-ho, Mr. Wilson?"). Wilson has extensively underlined passages, with marginal lines, and has written various comments of "note" in the margins. The section which Wilson found so engaging is the part detailing how Richard Crossman, Wilson's Lord President of the Council, irritated the Palace by refusing to attend the State Opening of Parliament; "the whole affair escalated, and the Prime Minister, Harold Wilson, who enjoyed such a favoured relationship with the Queen, became rather embarrassed" (p. 173). The book then relates how the palace outmanoeuvres Crossman. Wilson clearly recalled the incident, and still found it of note. He further heavily annotates the section on the Privy Council and the Opening of Parliament (both of which he was at the centre of), and, interestingly, her tour of the Gulf in 1979, after Wilson had finished in office.
Upon his appointment as prime minister in 1964 Wilson got on well with the Queen, despite - or perhaps because of - his humble background, following a succession of Tory grandees as prime ministers. Wilson was evidently still intrigued by his monarch after leaving office, and the book is clearly well-thumbed. Morrow's biography was first published in 1983; this is the first paperback edition. The book remained in the possession of Wilson and his wife Mary until the dispersal of their estate following Mary's death in 2018.
Octavo. Original photographic wrappers.
Generally rather creased, thumbed, and toned; but a sound copy, all pages present without tears.
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