Those of us who are interested in what’s playing at the theater and which movies are Oscar contenders will already know of The King’s Speech, a movie nominated for this year’s Best Picture. Some of you may not know that the book was written by the grandson of Lionel Logue to coincide with the making of the movie and add to discerning the true story. Happily, the movie and book complement each other.
Mark Logue, the co-author, was contacted by Iain Canning, the producer of the film, in June 2009, hoping to make their film as historically accurate as possible. Mark set out to try and discover as much as he could about his grandfather who had died twelve years before he was born. He found a vast treasure of documents, diaries, letters and scrapbooks kept by his grandfather. Additionally, he found an appointment card with his grandfather’s spider-like handwriting, in which he described his first encounter with the future King in his small consulting room. These historical sources told the story of the professional help a commoner gave the Duke of York, future King of England, with his stammering and stuttering. They also served to show an amazing relationship of friendship lasting for decades between the King and Lionel. The book is a non-fiction history of their lives filling in many details about their families, the second World War, and how a commoner introduced a
stuffy royal to the typical Brit’s life.
Both men dearly loved their wives and children and the King was helped and encouraged enormously by his wife, Elizabeth, who found Lionel and pushed her husband to try one more doctor for help. The additional historical facts in this book really color in the story of an outstanding movie. I’ll be cheering it on this Sunday during the Oscars.