George VI reigned through taxing times. Acceding to the throne upon his brother's abdication, he was immediately confronted with the turmoil in European politics leading up to the Second World War, then the War itself, followed by a period of austerity, social transformation and loss of Empire. George was unprepared for kingship, suffering from a stammer which could make public occasions very painful for him. Moreover he had grown up in the shadow of his brother, a man who had been idolized as no royal prince has been, before or since. However, as Sarah Bradford shows in this sympathetic biography, although George was not born to be king, he died a great one.
Sarah Bradford is a historian and biographer. Her books include Lucrezia Borgia, Cesare Borgia (1976), Disraeli (1982), Princess Grace (1984), Sacheverell Sitwell (1993), Elizabeth (1996) and America's Queen (2000). Her next book will be the biography of Elizabeth II, to be published in 2012. Sarah Bradford lives in London.