x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Common colonial: the man who cured the King's speech

Mark Logue was the man who saved the British monarchy with little more than words, helping the new, and reluctant King George VI with his stammer.

The King's Speech
Mark Logue & Peter Conradi
Quercus
Dh75

As with most books linked to a film, this one has a lot more to it than the accompanying cinematic release. But the reasons here are not the usual ones of time-constraints and audience attention spans. Rather, some important material only came to light after filming had finished, including the "lost" diaries of Lionel Logue - a man described in the book's second chapter as "the common colonial who saved the British monarchy".

Logue was an Australian speech therapist who helped cure King George VI of his stutter and, in these pages, is credited with restoring faith in the British monarchy in the years that followed the abdication of Edward VIII.

The book opens with an almost cinematic introduction detailing the King's coronation speech, as well as a live radio address, "broadcast to the people of the United Kingdom and her vast Empire". Indeed, the story of how he was able to do so without stuttering is, of course, the subject of the film of the same name, which stars Colin Firth and opened the Dubai Film Festival this week.