Format Hardcover
Publication Date 09/25/13
ISBN 9781605984780
Trim Size / Pages 9.3 x 6.4 in / 368

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The Windsor Faction

A Novel

D. J. Taylor

London, 1939: Journalists gather like vultures for the funeral of Wallis Simpson, and a mournful King Edward VIII sits on the throne . . .

If Wallis Simpson had not died on the operating table in December 1936, Edward VIII would not be King of England three years later. He would have abdicated for “the woman he loves,” but now, the throne is his. If Henry Bannister’s car had not careered off the Colombo back-roads in the summer before the war, Cynthia Kirkpatrick would never have found out about The Faction. It is autumn 1939, and everything in history is just as it was. Except, that is, for the identity of the king in Buckingham Palace—and the existence of a secret organization operating at the highest levels of society and determined to derail the war effort against Nazi Germany.  The Windsor Faction is an ingenious exercise in what-might-have-been that assembles a cast of real and imaginary characters in a horrifyingly plausible re-invention of history.

D. J. Taylor is a novelist, critic ,and biographer whose Orwell won the Whitbread Prize for Biography. His most recent books are Kept; Bright Young People: The Rise and Fall of a Generation; Ask Alice; and Derby Day, which was nominated for the Booker Prize and was selected as a Washington Post Best Book of the Year.

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Endorsements & Reviews

The Windsor Faction combines a chillingly plausible plot with a wealth of well-drawn characters, including historical figures as well as fictional ones. As Taylor spins his story, he draws on history as well as his fertile imagination to captivate the reader.  For fans of what-if fiction, British history and intelligent entertainment, The Windsor Faction scores a trifecta.” The Richmond Times Dispatch
“The greatest pleasure of The Windsor Faction is the wealth of historical detail and the evocative descriptions of London at the beginning of the war...a fascinating glimpse into a murky part of British history. As Mr. Taylor writes, 'It was a strange time.'” The Wall Street Journal
“D.J. Taylor, a celebrated novelist and biographer, asks us to imagine what might have happened if that famous (or infamous) two-time American divorcee and commoner had conveniently died of peritonitis, leaving the king, former playboy and bon vivant, to fall back on his own resources, bereft and heartbroken, his only companion his stern private secretary. How might history have played out?” Carolyn See The Washington Post
“ Praise for Derby Day An intricately plotted and stylistically burnished crime caper. Tantalizing—mysterious almost to the end. ” The New York Times Book Review
“Impressive and wholly engaging. The prose brings to mind Thackeray and Dickens. It is delicious fun. Derby Day is on every count a winner.” Jonathan Yardley The Washington Post
“D. J. Taylor is of the finest of our 21st-century novelists.” The Financial Times