• Traitor King

  • The Scandalous Exile of the Duke & Duchess of Windsor
  • By: Andrew Lownie
  • Narrated by: Andrew Lownie
  • Length: 8 hrs and 27 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (99 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

December 11, 1936. The King of England, Edward VIII, has given up his crown, foregoing his duty for the love of Wallis Simpson, an American divorcee. Their courtship has been dogged by controversy and scandal, but with Edward's abdication, they can live happily ever after.

But do they? This is a story of a royal shut out by his family and forced into exile; of the Nazi attempts to recruit the duke to their cause; and of why the duke, as Governor of the Bahamas, tried to shut down the investigation into the murder of a close friend. It is a story of a couple obsessed with their status, financially exploiting their position, all the while manipulating the media to portray themselves as victims.

The Duke and Duchess of Windsor were, in their day, the most glamorous exiles in the world, flitting from sumptuously appointed mansions in the south of France to luxurious residences in Palm Beach. But they were spoiled, selfish people, obsessed with their image, and reveling in adulterous affairs. Drawing upon previously unexplored archives, Lownie shows in dramatic fashion how their glittering world was riddled with treachery and betrayal-and why the royal family never forgave the duke for choosing love over duty

©2022 Andrew Lownie (P)2022 Tantor

What listeners say about Traitor King

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  • Overall
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A Tale of Two Nazis

A fascinating study of two vile, self-centered, unlikable people surrounded by a captivating cast of characters.

1 person found this helpful

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Excellent very interesting

I’m very well written account, not too flowery and not to encyclopedic, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I thought it was nice that the author was reading it, very well done

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Fascinating

Although the large litany of names at times confusing this was a fascinating story with special insight into these historical figures. Well worth the listen/read.

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Definitely recommend!!

I appreciated all the little bits and details of this couple making them come to life. Good balance of history and private details of their lives.
Never could anyone imagine that such a a pair of narcissistic useless people could have found each other in their lifetime. Both only interested in their agenda and using the other to achieve that agenda. He by far was the worst and the biggest spoiled baby man I’ve ever heard of. How unattractive!! I have to give her credit and would have love to have been able to assess what “the hook” might have been. It wasn’t looks and from the opinion of people around her, her voice wasn’t even very attractive. I am curious about her and how she was able to reach such a lofty social status with no apparent charms.

Definitely recommend this book, as I appreciate the inside details of history and what was going on in their private lives. The narration was great. I love it when a author reads their own work.

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All That is Glamour can be Rotten

Do we REALLY need another Edward and Mrs. Simpson book? This is a good question. I think the answer is "yes" if it is this book. I have to say I've read a lot of the tomes on the tottering pile of abdication "literature" and somehow this book remarkably covers new ground. Of course to do that, it has to say nothing about the events leading up to the abdication itself. It is all post-abdication stuff. And frankly the story is more tragic and rotten than glamourous. First of all, there is the awful truth that "she" did not really love "him". Maybe we knew that; many do; some don't. Andrew Lownie tells the story in not-sickening detail, but the facts are that Wallis got herself in too deep and couldn't get out because the man in the story was a neurotic nut-job. But the other facts are that they led useless lives and that they were cheap and mean to their servants; were always looking for money like a pigeon is always looking for food; and they really enjoyed being fawned upon by the Nazis. (There is a good in-depth telling of the Duke's failed Governorship of the Bahamas, while he supposedly was waiting to go back to England as Hitler's king.)I don't really believe that they were tried and true pro-german fascists, but I think they played on the fantasy that the Nazis were their friends and maybe would resurrect Edward's kingship and put Wallis on the throne as queen. It may have been more about making her an HRH and queen than that he wanted to be king. He didn't want to be king, but he hated how The Firm treated his wife; he hated how he was shunned after the abdication; and he hated how he was never given a "proper job". So The fact that Hitler and Ribbentrop and others made them feel good caused them to like the Germans and dislike the British Royal family. Edward was dim-witted and incredibly naive. She was scheming and ruthless. Their flirtations, and probably more than just flirtations, with the Nazis had more to do with the desire to be respected and flattered. But in the end neither of them got was they wanted from life, love or each other. So she gave elegant dinner parties; and cheated on hm while he fiddle with his ties, acted like a nervous wreck, and generally poked around with this and that kind of meaningless nonsense. They only cared about themselves. And they only had themselves, and maybe still do in hell. Overall a very good and interesting book and in my opinion well read by the author.

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Finally

The abdication crisis is fascinating, but what happened next is equally fascinating. I have never been under the illusion that either of them were good people. They were nonetheless held together by something far larger than themselves. The years after the abdication were complex, and more than a bit sad. My heart broke for those they came in contact with. Great book.

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Detailed account

A very detailed account of the pro Nazi activities of the Duke of Windsor and Wallis. Includes source material from multiple countries intelligence services.

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Fascinaring!

I really enjoyed this book. Mr. Lownie's voice really enhanced the story. There were some parts when the details of the furnishings they had would have left me cold if I were just reading it but his voice helped me form a picture of how they lived. Amazing that the man gave up a whole country and family to be with a woman who really didn't even love him.

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Excellent Research and Writing

I’ve read many books on this cursed couple and by far this is the finest…and proves that the sad little man who was Edward VIII was indeed a traitor. Also very fine narration.

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Gives a lot of views

Very good book but the narrator voice is a little too soft. Made it hard to hear on an MP3.

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