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William Shawcross's official biography of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, published in September 2009, was a huge critical and commercial success.One of the great revelations of the book was Queen Elizabeth's insightful, witty private correspondence. Indeed, The Sunday Times described her letters as "wonderful . . . brimful of liveliness and irreverence, steeliness and sweetness."

Now, in Counting One's Blessings, Shawcross has put together a selection of her letters, drawing on the vast wealth of material in the Royal Archives and at Glamis Castle. Queen Elizabeth was a prolific correspondent, from her early childhood before World War I to the very end of her long life at the beginning of the twenty-first century, and her letters offer readers a vivid insight into the real person behind the public face.

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