554 pp. 9 in. x 5.75 in. (G. T. Foulis & Co. Ltd., 1-5, Portpool Lane, London, E.C.1. 25s.)
This is a book to which I had looked forward with enthusiasm; I had not had it in my hands for very long before being overwhelmed with disappointment. For those seeking yet another popular book about British royalty, written with respect and caution, in which, as the author calls them, “motors” figure prominently, it is worth borrowing from the library, but if you are hoping to read of most of the cars owned by crowned heads down the years, of King Alfonso’s dashing drives in his Hispano-Suizas and so on, you will, as I did, suffer bitter disappointment.
In the first place, Dewar McLintock deals only with British royalty. In the second place he pads his book out with innumerable references from other popular sources and his own brand of line-filling wordage. Then he not only misses much Royal motoring material that study of bound volumes of The Autocar and a good knowledge of “cars in books” would have provided, but he is content with some rather surprising omissions.
For instance, having mentioned and quoted my description from Motor Sport of the Royal visit to Silverstone in 1950, the author rightly refers to a visit by the Duke and Duchess of York to Brooklands in 1932, but gives only passing mention an earlier visit of the Duke of York to the track for the Essex M.C. Royal Meeting of 1922, and fails to tell us that the Duke arrived late because hisArmstrong Siddeley incurred a puncture on the way down. He quotes the Royal entry at that meeting of a Triumph motorcycle—in fact, H.R.H. entered a Trumph.
I am amused to find that in using part of my Daimler history from Motor Sport, “that enthusiastic and informed journal,” I am referred to as “a correspondent” although relieved to find that I am also a “gentleman.”
There is a great deal that is fascinating in this book but I had hoped for a real inside story of the two long journeys by Daimler when King George V returned for a rail strike and was later taken by road to Bognor to recuperate from his illness—again, disappointment.
This could have been a far better book if more research had been undertaken, while the material that is included is difficult to find because there is no index. The very clear illustrations are, inevitably, mostly repeats of those we have seen many times before.—W. B.