W&N signs 'painstakingly researched' story of Edward VIII's abdication

W&N signs 'painstakingly researched' story of Edward VIII's abdication

Weidenfeld & Nicolson has acquired The Crown in Crisis: Countdown to the Abdication by Alexander Larman.

The book, described as "the definitive book about the events of 1936", will publish on 9th July 2020 in print, e-book and audio after Alan Samson bought World English language rights from the Andrew Lownie Literary Agency. 

According to W&N, The Crown in Crisis is "the conclusive exploration of how an unthinkable and unprecedented event tore the country apart, as its monarch prized his personal happiness above all else". It draws on previously unpublished and rare archival material, as well as new interviews with those who knew Edward VIII and the American divorcée he wished to marry, Wallis Simpson.

It is "painstakingly researched, incisively written and entirely fresh in its approach", the publisher added, bringing the events of that time "to thrilling life"—W&N hoping that in the process it will appeal to an entirely new audience.

Larman said: "I’ve found the seismic and revelatory story of the abdication thrilling to research and write. Never-before-published documents have revealed a different story to the one I thought I knew, and led to a dramatic narrative rich in betrayal and subterfuge. This is as much a story about politicians and media barons trying to save—or damn—their country as it is about the royal family tearing itself apart. At a time when the saga of a contemporary Duke and Duchess is never far from the front pages, it’s a reminder that history repeats itself, whether as tragedy—or farce."

Samson, Weidenfeld & Nicolson chairman and publisher, said: "As a young historian and biographer of compelling gifts, Alex Larman is a most welcome author to the W&N list. He brings a scrupulously researched and new perspective to one of the defining events of 20th-century British history, a momentous set of circumstances that resonate to this day."