Andrew Lownie’s talk about The Mountbattens has proved so popular that it’s been moved from The Bull Ballroom to the Electric Palace on Monday 4 November at 6pm.
Tickets are selling fast, so grab some while you still can.
The Mountbattens: Their Lives and Loves is a nuanced portrayal of two very unusual people and their complex relationship. Rich in texture, the book features a cast list including Churchill, Roosevelt, Chianng Kai-Shek, Charlie Chaplin and Laurens van der Post.
It’s 40 years since the assassination of Lord Mountbatten by the IRA.
He is one of the major British historical figures of the twentieth century.
As one obituary noted: ‘It seemed almost unbelievable that one human being could have touched history at so many points’ including Supreme Allied Commander of South East Asia during WWII and the last Viceroy of India.
He was also a major figure behind his nephew Philip’s marriage to Queen Elizabeth II and instrumental in the royal family taking the Mountbatten name. He also became an influential mentor to Prince Charles.
No biography of Mountbatten can be told without also examining that of his wife, Edwina. Once the richest woman in Britain, her aimless pre-war life as a playgirl who enjoyed numerous affairs, she emerged from WWII as a magnetic and talented charity worker.
Observer reviewer Andrew Larman described the biography as ‘genuinely enthralling’.
‘Its revelations about Mountbatten’s bisexuality – confined to a later chapter entitled “Rumours” – have already attracted attention, but Andrew Lownie is less interested in prurient detail (despite the revelation the prolific Mountbatten was known as “Mountbottom”) than he is in unravelling this most English of marriages.
‘This fine book is a fitting tribute to two complex people.’