Download Maggie Smith: A Biography Audiobook

Maggie Smith: A Biography Audiobook, by Michael Coveney Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Michael Coveney Narrator: Sian Thomas Publisher: Macmillan Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: December 2015 ISBN: 9781427271532
5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 5.00 (1 ratings) (rate this audio book)
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No one does glamour, severity, girlish charm or tight-lipped witticism better than Dame Maggie Smith. Michael Coveney's biography shines a light on the life and career of a truly remarkable performer, one whose stage and screen career spans six decades. From her days as a West End star of comedy and revue, Dame Maggie's path would cross with those of the greatest actors, playwrights and directors of the era. Whether stealing scenes from Richard Burton, answering back to Laurence Olivier, or playing opposite Judi Dench in Breath of Life, her career can be seen as a 'Who's Who' of British theatre. Her film and television career has been just as starry. From the title character in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and the meddling chaperone in A Room With a View to the Harry Potter films in which she played Minerva McGonagall (as she put it 'Miss Jean Brodie in a wizard's hat') and the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel films in which she played the wise Muriel Donnelly, Smith has thrilled, engaged and made audiences laugh. As Violet Crawley, the formidable Dowager Countess of Downton Abbey she conquered millions more. Paradoxically she remains an enigmatic figure, rarely appearing in public. Michael Coveney's absorbing biography, written with the actress's blessing and drawing on personal archives, as well as interviews with immediate family and close friends, is a portrait of one of the greatest actors of our time. Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • “Coveney seamlessly melds Smith’s personal and professional lives into an engrossing narrative…An authoritative and perceptive portrait.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “Coveney’s research, a blend of interviews and archival sources, is impressive; he skillfully weaves this information into a thorough examination of all aspects of Smith’s career…This well-written, valuable resource on Smith’s career is an informative read for fans and those interested in the performing arts. For both large academic and public collections.”

    Library Journal

  • “Even if you think you know Dame Margaret (Maggie) Smith through her redoubtable performance as the Countess of Grantham in Downton Abbey, you will find much to savor in Sian Thomas’ narration of English theater critic Michael Coveney’s informative and enjoyable biography…The stories are fun, although the wealth of names is occasionally daunting. But Thomas’ well-paced performance and crisp, finely tuned voice keeps one interested.”


  • [Y]ou will find much to savor in Sian Thomas's narration of English theater critic Michael Coveney's informative and enjoyable biography...Thomas's well-paced performance and crisp, finely tuned voice will keep on interested. AudioFile
  • A USA Today Pick for New & Noteworthy Books of 2016

Listener Reviews

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  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mabel | 4/21/2017

    " If you are a Maggie Smith fan this book will not disappoint. The author delves into her work, techniques, and life experiences without an invasive "who would ever want to know that" quality. The narrator moves things along so that the reader is never left bored. "

About the Author

Michael Coveney is one of Britain’s most respected theater critics and has written about theatre for over three decades, as editor of Plays and Players, and as staff critic on the Financial Times, Observer, and Daily Mail. His books include a history of the Glasgow Citizens Theatre and biographies of Maggie Smith, Mike Leigh, and Andrew Lloyd Webber. He regularly contributes to the Independent, Guardian, Observer, New Statesman, Prospect, and BBC Radio’s Front Row. He lives in England.

About the Narrator

Sian Thomas, actress and Earphones Award–winning audiobook narrator, was nominated for a 2003 Laurence Olivier Theatre Award for Best Performance in a Supporting Role for her role in Up for Grabs. She appeared as Amelia Bones in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.