The most recommended books about King George VI

Who picked these books? Meet our 21 experts.

21 authors created a book list connected to King George VI, and here are their favorite King George VI books.
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Book cover of The Rose Code

Bruce Stachenfeld Author Of Faythe of North Hinkapee: The Saga of a Young Woman’s Quest for Justice and Love in Colonial America

From my list on irrepressible, exciting and heroic female lead characters that you will never forget.

Why am I passionate about this?

I made up Faythe of North Hinkapee by being a jerk! I was ranting about how bad a "best seller" book I had read was. My wife looked at me and said, "So, could you write a bestseller?" I was challenged, and then, somehow, this book just tumbled out. It was about a girl in Colonial Timesher family burned as witchesvowing vengeance and how she gets it. My wife looked at me and said: “My God, that could be a bestseller!’ My kids also loved the story. For about twenty years, I planned to write it, and after a ton of work, I finally finished.

Bruce's book list on irrepressible, exciting and heroic female lead characters that you will never forget

Bruce Stachenfeld Why did Bruce love this book?

I loved this book!

Three women, all different, all with amazing characters, decoding Nazi transmissions during WWII. I loved the women as their characters developed. And I admit I was chilled and fearful as to how it would turn out since the beginning (almost) tells you the end, but definitely not quite. So, I was on the edge of my seat from beginning to end.

Not a book I would want to start reading before a work deadline since I would probably be up all night and blow the deadline.

By Kate Quinn,

Why should I read it?

10 authors picked The Rose Code as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Huntress and The Alice Network returns with another heart-stopping World War II story of three female code breakers at Bletchley Park and the spy they must root out after the war is over.

1940. As England prepares to fight the Nazis, three very different women answer the call to mysterious country estate Bletchley Park, where the best minds in Britain train to break German military codes. Vivacious debutante Osla is the girl who has everything-beauty, wealth, and the dashing Prince Philip of Greece sending her roses-but she burns to…


Book cover of Royal Bounty: The Making of a Welfare Monarchy

William Kuhn Author Of Mrs Queen Takes the Train

From my list on the modern British monarchy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an American who was taken by his parents to live in England for a year when he was a kid of eleven. The accents? The traditions? The school uniforms? All the traffic tangled up for a day because the Queen was riding to the State Opening of Parliament? It frightened me. It repelled me. I ended up loving it. I wrote my PhD thesis on the Victorian monarchy. A substantial part of all three of my first nonfiction books are about it. My novel on the current Queen of England has been a bestseller. It’s all about setting out to master what first strikes you as incomprehensible.

William's book list on the modern British monarchy

William Kuhn Why did William love this book?

This is the first history that details how the late nineteenth-century monarchy became an engine of philanthropy. As kings and queens were sidelined, or reduced to insignificance, in political transactions, they increased their role in assisting non-profit institutions that contributed to the public good. They gave their patronage, for example, to hospitals, veterans’ associations, and civic charities. This gave the royal family an outsized influence in the do-good world, and this itself increased the respect in which the monarchy was held by people of all parties. Frank Prochaska is an American historian of Great Britain, so he brings a healthy objectivity to literature about royalty that is sometimes too credulous and deferential.

By Frank Prochaska,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Royal Bounty as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

As the constitutional importance of the monarchy has declined, the British royal family has forged a new and popular role for itself as patron, promoter, and fund-raiser for the underprivileged and the deserving. This book-the first to study the evolution of the "welfare monarchy"-tells the story of the royal family's charitable and social work from the eighteenth century to the present.

Drawing on previously unused material from the Royal Archives, Frank Prochaska shows that the monarchy's welfare work has raised its prestige and reaffirmed its importance at the same time that it has brought vitality and success to a vast…


Book cover of Augustus Carp Esquire, by Himself

Christopher Shevlin Author Of The Spy Who Came in from the Bin

From my list on making you laugh and feel better.

Why am I passionate about this?

I write books that I hope will make people laugh and feel better – so far, they are the three Jonathon Fairfax novels and a novella called The Pursuit of Coconuts. I suffer from depression, and have always found the world quite a difficult and confusing place, so – ever since I learned to read – I’ve escaped into books. Reading is so soothing and absorbing, and there’s something oddly intimate about joining an author inside a book. When a book’s genuinely funny, it feels as though – in a flash – it reveals the essential foolish absurdity of the world. I’ve listed five of the books that have worked that little miracle on me.

Christopher's book list on making you laugh and feel better

Christopher Shevlin Why did Christopher love this book?

This is the strangest of the books I’ve chosen. I found it by accident while looking for something else in the British Library, and loved it immediately. The writer was George VI’s doctor, and this is his only novel.

On the surface, it’s the story of a grotesquely unlikeable and hypocritical father and son. But I prefer to ignore that and just enjoy its completely unique voice. The whole book is like a PG Wodehouse sentence: somehow transcending its literal meaning to become almost magically pleasing. It’s definitely not for everyone, but if you enjoy the phrase ‘the aunt that had stood with my mother’s mother at the foot of the stairs’ then you’ll like it.

By Henry Howarth Bashford,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Augustus Carp Esquire, by Himself as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A Churchwarden, Sunday school superintendent, and President of the St Potamus Purity League, Augustus Carp is assiduous in exposing the sins and foibles of others while studiously ignoring his own. Although he campaigns against lechery, drinking, and smoking, he manages to indulge himself in plenty of other vices in the name of piety. The more seriously Carp takes himself, the more ridiculous he becomes. His frequent falls from dignity are uproarious—from his inability to climb off buses without falling over to his lifelong problems with flatulence. As a satire on hypocrisy, there is nothing quite like it in English prose.


Book cover of George Cross Heroes

Jane Harvey-Berrick Author Of Troll: My Life in Bomb Disposal

From my list on first-hand accounts of warzones.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have no expertise in the military – I wish I did. But I have incredible respect for their work. I remember reading about the death of Oz Schmid, a bomb disposal officer who was killed in Afghanistan. It was the bravery of his widow, Christina, discussing the appalling lack of equipment and her quiet dignity that touched me profoundly. I asked myself, what can I do to help? Being a writer, I decided to write about it. I quickly realised that I needed an insider’s insight, and found Troll through Felix Fund, the bomb disposal charity. Troll and I wrote the play Later, After, seeing it performed was the proudest moment of my career. 

Jane's book list on first-hand accounts of warzones

Jane Harvey-Berrick Why did Jane love this book?

Lord Ashcroft is a great supporter of veterans, and his book dedicated to the bravest of the brave is required reading. Troll gave me a copy while he was writing his own memoirs and I feel proud that I was able to encourage him.

By Michael Ashcroft,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked George Cross Heroes as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In a broadcast to the nation in September 1940 King George VI announced the institution of the George Cross - a civilian equivalent of the Victoria Cross awarded to recognize the many acts of supreme gallantry being performed outside of the battlefield.

From Thomas Alderson, the first recipient of the medal, who heroically rescued several people from trapped houses during one terrible Blitz night, to Lance Corporal Matthew Croucher, who threw himself onto a live grenade in the Helmand province to save the lives of his comrades (and somehow survived), to Barbara Harrison, an air stewardess who died in 1968…


Book cover of The War I Finally Won

Susan Krawitz Author Of Viva, Rose!

From my list on middle grade that makes history leap off the page.

Why am I passionate about this?

Truth may be stranger than fiction, but fiction is truer.” Frederic Raphael. When I was a child, a relative often told stories of a cowboy gear clad cousin who visited our New York family from Texas and claimed he’d once served in Pancho Villa’s army. These tales were the spark that eventually led to Viva, Rose! and my interest in storytelling as well. There’s something about the combination of lived experience and fiction that I find irresistibly engaging and exciting. I’ve worked as a journalist, ghostwriter, and editor, but my happiest happy place is writing and reading stories birthed from a molten core of real life.

Susan's book list on middle grade that makes history leap off the page

Susan Krawitz Why did Susan love this book?

The title offers an important hint that the focus isn’t solely on exterior events. In this sequel to The War That Saved My Life, World War II still rages across the English countryside, though Ada’s actually emotionally safer than she’d ever been when living with her mother. But memories of that time still give her terrible nightmares, and when a crisis makes her feel like they’re coming true, she discovers that there’s a big difference between fear and what you do with it. The horses, the lushly-depicted historical landscape, and a truly relatable and beautifully-wrought battle with the wars we carry inside make this a book I want to read over and over.

By Kimberly Brubaker Bradley,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The War I Finally Won as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 9, 10, 11, and 12.

What is this book about?

A New York Times bestseller

Like the classic heroines of Sarah, Plain and Tall, Little Women, and Anne of Green Gables, Ada is a fighter for the ages. Her triumphant World War II journey continues in this sequel to the Newbery Honor-winning The War that Saved My Life

When Ada awakes from surgery on her club foot, the news that greets her will change the course of her life. Doors that her mother had shut tightly are swinging open-

But World War II rages on. Ada and her brother, Jamie, are forced to move into a cottage with the iron-faced…


Book cover of An Evacuee's Journey

Sharon K. Mayhew Author Of Keep Calm and Carry On, Children

From my list on children persevering through WWII.

Why am I passionate about this?

My life has been blessed by having British grandparents who lived very long lives. Grandad was in the RAF and Nanny sewed for the War Effort during WWII. They rarely spoke of their experiences until they reached their early 90s. Their memories, other family members, and friends inspired me to research the children who persevered through Operation Pied Piper. I also visited related locations in England gathering more information. The Greatest Generation had a huge impact on who I am as a person and how I treat others. My recommendation list is a sampling of some of my favorite books about perseverance. 

Sharon's book list on children persevering through WWII

Sharon K. Mayhew Why did Sharon love this book?

This is an excellently organized non-fiction, kid-friendly (or adult) book about WWII. It explains everything from an evacuee’s journey, to ration books, how everyone helped in the War Effort, various battles, a super timeline, and a glossary. It even offers titles of other books to find more information.

By Peter Hepplewhite,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked An Evacuee's Journey as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This series is about transport and travel during different eras in history. Set in 1939, this title follows the journey of evacuee Joe Thompson from Sunderland to the countryside of East Yorkshire. The reader witnesses Joe's experiences of wartime Britain along the way, with the text providing the background to the social conditions of that time. Topics covered include preparation for war, how evacuees were chosen by foster families, health and welfare in Britain, homesickness, farmwork, schooling, rationing, the Battle of Britain and the Blitz. Complete with timeline and glossary.


Book cover of A Prince and a Spy

Hilary Green Author Of Operation Lightning Bolt

From my list on the secret world of plot and counter plot in WWll.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was born just before the start of World War ll. My father served throughout the war in the RAF but before that he had been a professional singer. I was interested in the idea that the war had sent people along paths that they would never have otherwise explored and I decided to write about four young performing artists and their wartime experiences. The result was the four novels in my Follies series. It meant a lot of research, in the process of which I discovered the work of the Special Operations Executive. This has provided me with material for several more novels, of which Operation Lightning Bolt is the most recent.

Hilary's book list on the secret world of plot and counter plot in WWll

Hilary Green Why did Hilary love this book?

I was intrigued by this book because the central theme of the plot deals with a historical mystery that is very little discussed. Why was the aircraft carrying the Duke of Kent, the brother of King George Vl, shot down and where was he going? Clements weaves a gripping narrative as his hero, Thomas Wilde, tries to find the answer.

By Rory Clements,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Prince and a Spy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Master of the wartime spy thriller' - FINANCIAL TIMES

In the gripping new spy thriller from the Sunday Times bestselling author of Hitler's Secret, a Cambridge spy must unravel a dangerous mystery that goes all the way to the heart of the Third Reich - and the British Monarchy.
________________

Sweden, 1942 - Two old friends meet. They are cousins. One is Prince George, Duke of Kent, brother of the King of England. The other is Prince Philipp von Hessen, a committed Nazi and close friend of Adolf Hitler.

Days later, the Prince George is killed in a plane crash…


Book cover of The Secret Royals: Spying and the Crown, from Victoria to Diana

Hilary Green Author Of Operation Lightning Bolt

From my list on the secret world of plot and counter plot in WWll.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was born just before the start of World War ll. My father served throughout the war in the RAF but before that he had been a professional singer. I was interested in the idea that the war had sent people along paths that they would never have otherwise explored and I decided to write about four young performing artists and their wartime experiences. The result was the four novels in my Follies series. It meant a lot of research, in the process of which I discovered the work of the Special Operations Executive. This has provided me with material for several more novels, of which Operation Lightning Bolt is the most recent.

Hilary's book list on the secret world of plot and counter plot in WWll

Hilary Green Why did Hilary love this book?

The tagline for this book is Spying and Crown from Victoria to Diana. It is a massive book, the fruit of in-depth research, and opens up a fascinating field of enquiry. It details how the secret services grew out of attempts to assassinate Queen Victoria and reveals how the pro-Nazi sympathies of Edward Vlll and his abdication triggered a massive security alert. Most intriguing of all is the story of how King George Vl came to cooperate with SOE in a massive deception in the run-up to D-Day.

By Richard J. Aldrich, Rory Cormac,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Secret Royals as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A Daily Mail Book of the Year and a The Times and Sunday Times Best Book of 2021

'Monumental.. Authoritative and highly readable.' Ben Macintyre, The Times

'A fascinating history of royal espionage.' Sunday Times

'Excellent... Compelling' Guardian

For the first time, The Secret Royals uncovers the remarkable relationship between the Royal Family and the intelligence community, from the reign of Queen Victoria to the death of Princess Diana.

In an enthralling narrative, Richard J. Aldrich and Rory Cormac show how the British secret services grew out of persistent attempts to assassinate Victoria and then operated on a private and…


Book cover of The Air Raid Book Club

Patricia McBride Author Of The Picture House Girls

From my list on WW2 saga books.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have written one complete WW2 saga series, Lily Baker, and am currently writing a second series, The Library Girls. I am addicted to reading about the period and can lose hours and hours doing factual research as well. My mother was a Cockney, and I became immersed in her wartime stories, mostly about the fun she had but also about her many struggles. I love stories about strong women overcoming adversity, and during WW2, many showed the world how capable and resilient they were. I have a Master's Degree in Professional Writing and write occasional magazine articles.

Patricia's book list on WW2 saga books

Patricia McBride Why did Patricia love this book?

I loved the way when reading this book, I learned a lot about the Blitz and the problems faced by Londoners, their struggles, and their strengths.

The main character, Gertie, is relatable, and I was keen to find out how she overcomes the trials and tribulations she faces. It is a warm and touching story about Gertie’s love of people and books (she has a bookshop). I loved her positive attitude even when her husband died.

I found it one of those books I couldn’t put down but didn’t want it to end.

By Annie Lyons,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Air Raid Book Club as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'A warm and tender tale about the power and healing of friendship and community and the magic of books' - Ruth Hogan

As the bombs began to fall, the book club kept their hopes alive...

The most emotional, uplifting and captivating story of wartime London and the extraordinary power of books to shine a light and draw people together in the darkest of days, inspired by true events.

London, 1938. Bookseller Gertie Bingham is facing difficult times, having just lost her beloved husband, Harry, and with a lingering sadness at never having been able to have a child of her…


Book cover of The Box of Delights

Tom Mitchell Author Of How to Stop the End of the World

From my list on classic kids’ adventure stories that may or may not feature a sword.

Why am I passionate about this?

Full disclosure: I don’t know much about swords. But as a children’s author and English teacher, I’ve learnt what makes kids want to pick up a book. In short, make it fun! My teenage membership in the Young Archaeologists Club sparked my love of history and archeology. It wasn’t quite as glamorous as Indiana Jones would have you believe, but the idea that hidden treasures might be lurking under our gardens has fascinated me ever since.

Tom's book list on classic kids’ adventure stories that may or may not feature a sword

Tom Mitchell Why did Tom love this book?

This might be the book that transformed me into a reader.

Masefield, also the UK’s one-time poet laureate, writes a magical Christmas adventure story about a boy called Kay who comes into possession of a magical box that allows the owner to shrink, move quickly, and even travel back in time. It’s full of scenes that stay with me even now and is such a rich, imaginative world. It deserves to be far better known!

It may contain the mention of a sword in passing.

By John Masefield, Judith Masefield (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Box of Delights as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 9, 10, 11, and 12.

What is this book about?

And now, Master Harker, now that the Wolves are Running, perhaps you could do something to stop their Bite?'

A magical old man has asked Kay to protect the Box of Delights, a Box with which he can travel through time. But Kay is in danger: Abner Brown will stop at nothing to get his hands on it. The police don't believe Kay, so when his family and the Bishop are scrobbled up just before Christmas, he knows he must act alone ...

John Masefield's classic children's book is considered to be one of the great works of modern children's…