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Abdication: A Novel Audiobook, by Juliet Nicolson Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Juliet Nicolson Narrator: Carole Boyd Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2012 ISBN: 9781620642405
2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 2.00 (350 ratings) (rate this audio book)
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England, 1936. The year began with the death of a beloved king and the ascension of a charismatic young monarch, sympathetic to the needs of the working class, glamorous, and single. By year’s end, the world would be stunned as it witnessed that new leader give up his throne in the name of love, just as the unrest and violence that would result in a second World War were becoming impossible to ignore. In pitch-perfect prose, Juliet Nicolson has captured an era in which duty and pleasure, tradition and novelty, and order and chaos all battled for supremacy in the hearts and minds of king and commoner alike. As addictive as Downton Abbey, Abdication is a breathtaking story inspired by a love affair that shook the world. Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • “I was completely gripped by the story of David and Wallis Simpson…But no less compellingly drawn were the rest of Juliet Nicolson’s cast of characters…I’m in awe of Juliet’s ability to move from nonficition to fiction so seamlessly.”

    Jessica Fellowes, New York Times bestselling author 

  • “Anyone interested in the 1930s will revel in this richly detailed slant on the abdication crisis.”

    Daisy Goodwin, New York Times bestselling author

  • “Nicolson’s eye for period detail is spot-on, and her characterizations of the main players are superb…This is a delightful story of a friendship forged by the drama of the abdication and the approaching war; ideal for the intelligent deckchair.”

    Times (London)

  • “Absorbing…As the abdication crisis deepens and Britain is thrust ever closer to the perils of war, the lives of Nicolson’s characters undergo significant changes, all rendered by her keen comprehension of human nature.”

    Richmond Times-Dispatch

Listener Reviews

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  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Julie | 12/31/2013

    " Thought the book was going to concentrate more on the actual evens leading up to and after the abdication of King Edward the VIII. Kind of just tiptoed around the events, with story lines about several other characters and their direct and/or indirect link to Edward and Wallis. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Julie | 12/26/2013

    " Too soft of a plot with characters that I didn't really care for. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Beth | 12/9/2013

    " This historically rich novel was a brilliant slice of life in England in the 1930's, but it fell a little short, in my opinion in the area of plot. A little too much time was spent detailing the food served at the party and some events seemed thrown in just to prove that the author did her research (which I was never in doubt of). Still, very interesting. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Barb | 12/5/2013

    " I finished "Abdication" by Juliet Nicolson. This book was an historical novel set in pre-World War II England. May Thomas and her brother have come to England from an English Caribbean island to make their way in the world. They are welcomed by a cousin and his family and immediately set out to find work. May finds work as a chauffer for a very important government official. One of her assignments is to deliver a visitor to Mrs. Wallace Simpson and the soon-to-be King Edward VIII. This visitor is a childhood friend of Mrs. Simpson, Evangeline Nettlefold. Miss Nettlefold is a spinster who is quite clumsy very unsure of herself. Mrs. Simpson makes a game of trying to embarrass Evangeline as often as she can. There is always an undercurrent mystery surrounding Wallace and Edward. Their attraction to each other is noticeable to everyone around them and yet they try to hide it. May is attracted to Julian, who is a friend of her cousin, and who wants to take part in the pre-war intrigue that surrounds England at this time. May has no idea of the part she is playing in this drama except that she is sworn to secrecy concerning those persons and diplomats that she chauffers back and forth. I thought that the interaction between Wallace Simpson and Evangeline and between Wallace and the future king was quite interesting. This story line planted a seed in my mind that I want to read more about this era of history, especially regarding the English monarchy at this time. I would highly recommend this book. I was forced to stay up late in order to keep reading as I did NOT want to put it down. There are so many sub-plots and diversions throughout the story that I could have happily read the continuation of any of them. Suffice it to say that May and Julian's romance was not the most important aspect of this story, to me anyway. Ms. Nicolson is a very talented writer and I will be searching for more of her books. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Amy | 11/24/2013

    " I didn't get very far in this. The writing had a weak tea feel to me. Might have been my mood. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Stephen | 11/9/2013

    " The characterizations were fairly one dimensional. Noble or nasty. Polished or pathetic. But it was fun and had a surprise or two. Not bad for a first novel. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Heidi | 11/4/2013

    " Delightful! Some rather fascinating fictional characters cavort amidst historical events, bringing history to life in a behind-the-scenes manner. I really enjoyed it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Natalie | 6/29/2013

    " sweet - and apparently this is the year of wallis simpson ... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Staff | 5/18/2013

    " Urbane, sophisticated and polished, this is a wondeful look at English life before WWII. --Joni "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Judy | 3/16/2013

    " This book was all over the place. Three different stories in one, but they didn't seem to come together. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Dee | 2/24/2013

    " billed as "addictive as Downton Abbey" on the back cover, but I was not addicted to this story....rather blah in my view. "

About the Author

Juliet Nicolson is the author of two works of history, The Great Silence: 1918–1920 Living in the Shadow of the Great War and The Perfect Summer: Dancing into Shadow in 1911, and a novel, Abdication. As the grand-daughter of Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicolson and the daughter of Nigel Nicolson she is part of a renowned and much scrutinized family and the latest in the family line of record-keepers of the past. She lives with her husband in East Sussex, not far from Sissinghurst, where she spent her childhood. She has two daughters, Clemmie and Flora, and one grand-daughter, Imogen.

About the Narrator

Carole Boyd’s theater work includes a year performing with Alan Ayckbourn’s Scarborough Company where she created the role of June in Way Upstream, while her television credits include Hetty Wainthropp Investigates and Mystery!: Campion. Boyd also plays the notorious Lynda Snell in The Archers, is a regular reader on BBC Radio 4’s Poetry Please, and has won three audiobook awards for her recordings.