RSL Events

Feb 2013
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Writing about Royalty

Jane Ridley in conversation with William Shawcross

Anne Chisholm

Somerset House, 7pm


‘You can’t treat royalty like people with normal perverted desires,’ Rosencrantz insists in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. So do different rules apply when writing about royals? Jane Ridley’s Bertie: A Life of Edward VII (2012) was praised as ‘a model of how royal biographies should be written … impeccably researched, balanced, sensible, disrespectful without being offensive’. William Shawcross wrote the official biography of the Queen Mother, described as ‘a magisterial work’. He also edited the Queen Mother’s letters, published last year. In a conversation chaired by Anne Chisholm, they discuss whether royal biography is changing; the joys and drawbacks of working in the royal archives; the extent to which they were given a free hand to write what they wanted; how much time needs to elapse before it is possible to explore sensitive subjects, such as the madness of George III; and whether they feel tempted to tackle further royal subjects, or plan to stick firmly to commoners from now on.

We are grateful to the Logos Trust for sponsoring this event.

The TLS is proud to be the media partner for this event.

Booking Information

Seats for guests (one per meeting, £5) must be booked and paid for in advance. This can be done through the RSL website as part of the usual booking process.

The RSL takes bookings from the public in advance of each event. We are able to take payment for bookings over the phone, but, as we do not have a box office, we ask that the public book online.

Tickets will be sold on a first come, first served basis, for £8 (£5 for students).

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Kenneth Clark Lecture Theatre, The Courtauld Institute of Art, Somerset House

RSL Events

The TLS is proud to be the media partner for this event

The TLS is proud to be the media partner for this event

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