The Mountbattens: Their Lives and Loves
Andrew Lownie

The Mountbattens: Their Lives and Loves

The intimate story of a unique marriage that spans the heights of glamour and power to infidelity, manipulation and disaster through the heart of the 20th century.

DICKIE MOUNTBATTEN: A major figure behind his nephew Philip's marriage to Queen Elizabeth II and instrumental in the Royal Family taking the Mountbatten name, he was Supreme Allied Commander of South East Asia during World War II and the last Viceroy of India.

EDWINA MOUNTBATTEN: Once the richest woman in Britain and a playgirl who enjoyed numerous affairs, she emerged from World War II as a magnetic and talented humanitarian worker loved around the­ world.

From British high society to the South of France, from the battlefields of Burma to the Viceroy's House, The Mountbattens is a rich and filmic story of a powerful partnership, revealing the truth behind a carefully curated legend.

Was Mountbatten one of the outstanding leaders of his generation, or a man over-promoted because of his royal birth, high-level connections, film-star looks and ruthless self-promotion? What is the true story behind controversies such as the Dieppe Raid and Indian Partition, the love affair between Edwina and Nehru, and Mountbatten's assassination in 1979?

Based on over 100 interviews, research from dozens of archives and new information released under Freedom of Information requests, prize-winning historian Andrew Lownie sheds new light on­ this remarkable couple.

Book Details:

  • Author: Andrew Lownie
  • Published Year: 2019
  • Rights Sold
    • UK: Bonnier

Andrew Lownie

Andrew Lownie was born in 1961 and was educated in Britain and America. He read history at Magdalene College, Cambridge where he was President of the Union. He went on to gain an MSc at Edinburgh University and spend a year at the College of Law in London. After a period as a bookseller and journalist, he began his publishing career as the graduate trainee at Hodder & Stoughton. In 1985 became an agent at John Farquharson, now part of Curtis Brown, and the following year became the then youngest director in British publishing when he was appointed a director. Since 1984 he has written...
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Book Reviews

  • "a compelling new biography…superbly researched book."
    Daily Express
  • "as Andrew Lownie's richly entertaining biography of the Mountbattens makes very clear, theirs was not to be a conventional marriage…a very enjoyable biography of two remarkable people and their even more remarkable marriage.  "
    Daily Mail
  • "If you read the book, which I strongly recommend, I urge you to “stay for the credits” as in a cinema. Andrew Lownie is an unflagging sleuth when it comes to tracking down witnesses to his subjects’ lives…do we have to accept that yet another icon of the 20th century was a paedophile? Lownie piles on the evidence and I was browbeaten into being persuaded…a book that manages to encapsulate concisely the working and private lives, and to sum up the complicated characters, of Dickie and Edwina, and how their marriage worked, or didn’t. The great sweep of the 20th century is laid before us, with Mountbatten, an ever-fascinating mixture of inspired and inept, at its centre, always spinning any military failure to put himself in a good light. All his bunglings are described by Lownie in merciless detail…this incisive book that nails Mountbatten’s vanity as well as his greatness…"
    Times
  • "Lownie’s book marks the 40th anniversary of the murder of Mountbatten by the IRA in 1979. He writes with a determination and bounce that befits his subject. Sex is discussed with the easy tolerance of a man of the world. He respects and understands the spirit of service to the state and to the armed forces that animated so many Englishmen until the 1980s. His book has an old-fashioned boyish admiration for pluck. Its quick-moving fluency is well suited to his speedy central characters."
    Sunday Times
  • "This painstakingly researched dual account of Louis and Edwina Mountbatten is genuinely enthralling…A fitting tribute to two complex people."
    Observer
  • "  Gossipy, interesting and filled with their voices, the biography of the two glamourous people who led complicated lives and had complicated loves, is fascinating. It has letters Dickie wrote to his mother—detailed, intimate and frank—and letters that Edwina wrote to Jawaharlal Nehru—they wrote everyday, then weekly and then fortnightly. . But the book, at the heart of it, is about love. As well as a portrait, no holds barred, of a man who created history and his wife who shared it. "
    The Week (India)
  • "a page-turner which is also a carefully researched work of history. "
    Spectator
  • "By dint of prodigious research, Lownie has stripped away the accretions of fable and fiction to give us an unvarnished double portrait. It is vivid, well balanced and often sympathetic."
    Piers Brendon, Literary Review
  • "Having spent four years researching archives around the world and interviewing almost every living person who knew the Mountbattens, Lownie presents a well-balanced portrait of flawed individuals  whose private lives contrasted with their public persona. The book promises scandal and does not disappoint....Far from a hagiography, Lownie's book dares to go where no other Mountbatten biography has gone before. An explosive account that looks behind the façade of a celebrated couple."
    The Lady
  • "Everything a top-notch biography should be. "
    The Budapest Times
  • "a fascinating study of how love, fades with time. "
    The Hindustan Times