Logue, Mark and Peter Conradi. The Kings Speech: how one man saved the British monarchy

Logue, the grandson of Lionel Logue, speech therapist to King George VI, wrote this biography of his grandfather after having discovered some letters and journals that had been kept by a different branch of the family. Mark Logue always knew part of the story, but with this new material was able to put together a much more comprehensive look at his grandfather and his extraordinary relationship with the King.

Lionel Logue was of a mind to practice speech to perfection.  As a champion orator and elocution teacher in Australia, he began to study the problems some had with speech.  Because there was no real speech therapy practice at the time, he used his own experiences and intuition to help his clients overcome their difficulties.  When Logue and his wife moved to England, he had hardly set up practice when a call came from the palace asking him to assist the Duke of York, who was about to embark on a tour and needed assistance with his speech.  The Duke had tried no fewer than nine other speech coaches and none were able to help him overcome his stutter.  Logue agreed to work with the Duke and what started out as a successful professional relationship became a friendship as Logue saw him through his coronation and the dark years of World War II.

I have not yet seen the film version, so I’m unable to make a comparison, but the audio edition of this book is well-narrated and does contain a recording of the King’s actual speech on the eve of war.  Highly recommended. 

RA Blog Categories: