A1: Details

Author:                                               Sue Townsend

Title:                                                   The Queen and I       

First press:                                         1992

Print:                                                  Clays Ltd, St Ives plc

                                                           England

Press:                                                 2002

Pages:                                                271

ISBN:                                                 9780141010878

 

A2: Summary
The setting is the United Kingdom, after the 1992 General Election, where the House of Windsor has just been deprived of its Royal status by the People's Republican Party and its members are made to live like normal citizens. In Hellebore Close (aptly known as "Hell Close" to its long time residents), the new home of the Royal Family, they learn to cope with the normal day of ordinary people. The Queen – now called Mrs Windsor – is not allowed to take all her expensive things to her new home in "Hell Close", only Harris, her dog, is with her. The Queen is visited by a social worker but refuses to let her in. She learns how to use a zip or buttons and that five hours of waiting to see a doctor in an ordinary hospital is not unusual. She gets to know that living with a small pensioner's income is hard and that you have to organize your budget. On the whole, the Queen quickly learns to cope with the situation and later does not want to go back to Buckingham because of all the duties that would await her there. On the other hand, her husband Philip cannot cope with the situation. Charles, former Prince of Wales, discovers his great love for gardening. While he and his wife Diana, Princess of Wales, begin affairs with their neighbours, their children, William and Harry, think the whole situation is an adventure. Later Charles is imprisoned and sentenced for attacking a police officer, a crime he did not actually commit. His sister Anne takes up with a local handyman. Although the Queen Mum is the oldest, she learns very fast how to cope with the new situation, but even in the poor circumstances of Hellebore Close she cannot stop herself from betting on horses. Her death shakes the whole neighbourhood and everyone takes part in her cheap, but solemn funeral. A disgruntled fishmonger and his wife start a campaign to "Bring Our Monarch Back", under its acronym BOMB. It is then revealed that the whole story was a nightmare. The Queen wakes to find that the Conservatives have won the Election instead, as indeed actually happened, and John Major has remained Prime Minister[1].

A2: Summary
The setting is the United Kingdom, after the 1992 General Election, where the House of Windsor has just been deprived of its Royal status by the People's Republican Party and its members are made to live like normal citizens. In Hellebore Close (aptly known as "Hell Close" to its long time residents), the new home of the Royal Family, they learn to cope with the normal day of ordinary people. The Queen – now called Mrs Windsor – is not allowed to take all her expensive things to her new home in "Hell Close", only Harris, her dog, is with her. The Queen is visited by a social worker but refuses to let her in. She learns how to use a zip or buttons and that five hours of waiting to see a doctor in an ordinary hospital is not unusual. She gets to know that living with a small pensioner's income is hard and that you have to organize your budget. On the whole, the Queen quickly learns to cope with the situation and later does not want to go back to Buckingham because of all the duties that would await her there. On the other hand, her husband Philip cannot cope with the situation. Charles, former Prince of Wales, discovers his great love for gardening. While he and his wife Diana, Princess of Wales, begin affairs with their neighbours, their children, William and Harry, think the whole situation is an adventure. Later Charles is imprisoned and sentenced for attacking a police officer, a crime he did not actually commit. His sister Anne takes up with a local handyman. Although the Queen Mum is the oldest, she learns very fast how to cope with the new situation, but even in the poor circumstances of Hellebore Close she cannot stop herself from betting on horses. Her death shakes the whole neighbourhood and everyone takes part in her cheap, but solemn funeral. A disgruntled fishmonger and his wife start a campaign to "Bring Our Monarch Back", under its acronym BOMB. It is then revealed that the whole story was a nightmare. The Queen wakes to find that the Conservatives have won the Election instead, as indeed actually happened, and John Major has remained Prime Minister[1].

 

A3: Details about the writer

Sue Townsend, with The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13¾ (1982) and The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole (1984), was Britain’s bestselling author of the 1980s. Her hugely successful novels are Rebuilding Coventry (1988), True Confessions of Adrian Albers Mole, Margaret Hilda Roberts and Susan Lilian Townsend (1989), Adrian Mole: From Minor to Major (1991), The Queen and I (1992), Adrian Mole: The Wilderness Years (1993), Ghost Children (1997), Adrian Mole: The Cappuccino Years (1999), The Public Confessions of a Middle-aged Woman (Aged 55¾) (2001) and Number Ten (2002). Most of her books are published by Penguin. She is also well known as a playwright. She lives in Leicester[2]. Sue Townsend was born in Leicester on 2 April 1946. She died also in Leicester on 10 April 2014. She has written novels since the divorce from her and her husband[3].

 

[1] Cross, P. ‘The Queen and I (novel),’ 2014 Geraadpleegd op 17 april 2014. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Queen_and_I_(novel)

[2] Townsend, S. The Queen & I. London, 2010, p. 1

[3] Cross, P. ‘Sue Townsend,’ 2014. Geraadpleegd op 17 april 2014. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sue_Townsend

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