Counting One's Blessings: The Selected Letters of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother

Authors: Shawcross, William
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
BISAC/Subject: BIO014000
ISBN: 9781443407304, Related ISBNs: 1443407305, 9781443407298, 9781443407304
Classification: Non-Fiction
Number of pages: 688,
Audience: General/trade

One of the great revelations of William Shawcross’s official biography of the Queen Mother was her private correspondence. Indeed, the Sunday Times described her letters as “wonderful . . . brimful of liveliness and irreverence, steeliness and sweetness.”

Now, drawing on the vast wealth of material in the Royal Archives and at Glamis Castle and elsewhere, William Shawcross has put together a selection of those letters, many of which have never before been published. A prolific correspondent from her earliest childhood to the very end of her life, her letters offer readers a vivid insight into the person behind the public face.

They reveal—in her own words—the much-loved little girl who wrote teasing letters to her many siblings; the young woman who, after a long courtship and two refusals, accepted Prince Albert’s proposal. We see her as Duchess of York, bringing a sense of ease and fun into the public and private lives of the Royal Family. We see her delight in her beloved daughters, and her very real shock when she and her husband realized that he would become king following the abdication of Edward VIII. We see, too, the dreadful too exacted by the Second World War, which culminated in the king’s tragically early death in 1952, and then her determination, despite her grief, to find a new role for herself during the long years of widowhood.

Sign up for our literacy platform for reading at home

LightSail includes up to 6,000 high interest, Lexile aligned book titles with every student subscription. Other titles are available for individual purchase.

Watch the power of

Lightsail in action



Immediately Engage Students
Immediately Engage Students
Simple intuitive design has classrooms reading within minutes.
Exponentially Grow Reading Time
Exponentially Grow Reading Time
Students love the LightSail experience and naturally spend more time reading.
Accelerate Literacy Development
Accelerate Literacy Development
Students reading 25 minutes a day on LightSail are seeing 2+ years of Lexile growth in a single year.

LightSail Education is a comprehensive Lexile and standards-aligned, literacy platform and digital e-book library. Including multimodal learning functionality and featuring books from leading publishers, LightSail holistically assesses and nurtures each student on their reading and writing-to-learn journey, throughout elementary, middle, and high school.

*LightSail offers a 2,000 or a 6,000 title bundle with its student subscriptions. Other titles are available for individual purchase.