UPDATE: MATTHEW ENGEL AT 2023 HAY FESTIVAL: 27 MAY 8.30 PM
Matthew Engel’s new book appears with uncanny timeliness. Less than a month after Queen Elizabeth II died, the first volume of The Reign is being published. This begins the story of how life in Britain changed astonishingly over 70 years while the one figure who embodied the country seemed to change hardly at all.
Part One, “The Way It Was”, covers the years from her accession in 1952 to the arrival of Margaret Thatcher in Downing Street 1979. Part Two, “The Way It Became”, will take the story forward to her death in September 2022.
The Reign is not a book mainly about royalty, though the Queen is the one constant character in the story.
Nor is it mainly about politics. It is the story of the rest of us: our habits, our attitudes, our beliefs, our diversions and our private lives. All told with a light touch and amazing anecdotes.
Quotes from The Reign
—WHEN A QUEEN SUCCEEDED A KING
Civil servants at the Treasury were still wiping their bottoms with hard, abrasive, old-fashioned toilet paper marked ON HIS MAJESTY’S SERVICE. When it …
What the papers say
BOOK OF THE YEAR: "Engel’s masterly portrait ... is consistently entertaining, frequently surprising and sometimes provocative." - PETER WILBY, New Statesman
My literary Quality Street..., …
What the readers say
- One of Waterstones Best Books of 2022
- "A huge achievement, and hugely, hugely enjoyable....the construction skills deployed here are mind-boggling. The result is a glorious tour....of times I lived …