TV tie-ins are notoriously unreliable affairs, frequently cobbled together to cash in on the programmes concerned, promptly to disappear.

Not so this time. The much respected historian, Robert Lacey, who is the historical consultant to NETFLIX’s whopping, $100,000,000-plus production of “The Crown”, has written the first of a 2-volume companion to that astonishing series, aimed squarely at the layman. In so doing, he has managed not only to pace the programme, matching period shots to film ones, but has cleverly paired contemporary accounts with their filmed counterparts, illustrating both.

Fiction based on fact is tricky at best; but this memorable TV series, which is mercifully produced and shot in England, rather than Hollywood, has a wonderful book to match: well written, packed with illustrations and as unlike most tie-ins as chalk from cheese.

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