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The Last Hurrah


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About the Author

GRAHAM VINEY was educated at the Diocesan College (Bishops), Cape Town, and Oxford University where he read International Relations. He runs an international design company, and, in addition to numerous papers and articles has written two books, Colonial Houses of South Africa and The Cape of Good Hope, 1806-1872.


A fascinating but too little noticed book which tells a great deal about [the Queen's] formation. It draws on a single royal trip [the 1947 royal tour of southern Africa] . . . The Last Hurrah, by Graham Viney, vividly tells the full tale. - Daily TelegraphBrilliantly conveys the glamour and gruelling nature of a tour that temporarily united a divided nation, but ultimately failed to embed South Africa within "a Commonwealth of free peoples and many races". Casting a discerning eye on his royal protagonists and the people they encountered, Viney penetrates beyond the frippery and froth to provide fascinating sidelights on the history of twentieth-century South AfricaFor me, this was the literary surprise of the decade, to be so moved and enlightened by a book about British royals and their 1947 tour of South Africa. In Viney's hands, this . . . turns into an unforgettable excursion into a world peopled by gracious blue bloods, lovely princesses, bowing colonials and great throngs of Boers and Africans, inexplicably cheering the rulers of a kingdom that had subjugated their ancestors. Bathed in the fading glow of empire and buffeted by the coming storm of political struggle, Viney's South Africa is a country most of us will barely recognise, teetering on the brink of tumultuous change and yet almost united, at least for a moment, by love for a king and queen who weren't really ours. This is a very fine book. It deserves readers.Meticulously researched, and inspiringly evoked, Graham Viney relates the story of the 1947 Royal Tour of South Africa, and in so doing captures a defining moment in the history of the South African nation.

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