The Good Servant

You must sign in to see if this title is available for request.
Send NetGalley books directly to your Kindle or Kindle app

To read on a Kindle or Kindle app, please add as an approved email address to receive files in your Amazon account. Click here for step-by-step instructions.
Also find your Kindle email address within your Amazon account, and enter it here.
Pub Date 9 Jun 2022 | Archive Date Not set


From the no.1 Sunday Times bestselling author comes the story of Marion Crawford, governess to the Queen – an ordinary woman living in an extraordinary time.1932. Dunfermline, Scotland.

Marion Crawford, a bright, ambitious young teacher, is ready to make her mark on the world. Until a twist of fate changes the course of her life forever…

1936. Windsor Castle.

At first this ordinary woman is in a new world, working as the governess to two young princesses, in a household she calls home but where everyone is at a distance. As the course of history changes, she finds herself companion to the future Queen, and indispensable to the Crown. And slowly their needs become her needs. Their lives become hers.

It’s then she meets George, and falls in love for the first time. Now Marion faces an impossible choice: her sense of duty or the love of her life.

Reader reviews for The Good Servant

‘Such a tremendous read’ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

‘This latest novel absolutely blew me away’ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

‘This was my first read by Fern Britton but won’t be my last!’ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

‘Well-written and researched’ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

‘Being an avid fan of Fern Britton and her Cornish novels I was not sure what to expect from this one BUT it is brilliant’ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

‘Well written, with a riveting storyline and well developed characters that I loved’ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Absolutely loved this’ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

‘I really loved Marian’s story and knowing it was based on a true story made it extra special’ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

‘A little different from her other reads, but no less brilliant’ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

‘I was hooked from the beginning’ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

From the no.1 Sunday Times bestselling author comes the story of Marion Crawford, governess to the Queen – an ordinary woman living in an extraordinary time.1932. Dunfermline, Scotland.


Available Editions

ISBN 9780008225308
PRICE £6.99 (GBP)

Available on NetGalley

NetGalley Shelf App (EPUB)
Send to Kindle (EPUB)
Download (EPUB)

Average rating from 78 members

Featured Reviews

Having read all of Fern Brittons books which I absolutely love, I got so excited to read this one. When I read the blurb I was a little unsure, as it's not my normal genre.

We are not in Cornwall this time round but in lovely Windsor with Marion Crawford (Crawfie) hired to assist Princess Lillibet and Margaret, I didn't actually realise until I started reading that Marion is in fact a real person.

I wouldn't say I was a fan of the royals but I really enjoyed this, I know it's purely fiction but it really felt you had a insite to what life was like for our Queen as a little girl.

Such a tremendous read and if not your usual Fern Britton style, give it go I was highly surprised.


Was this review helpful?

This was my first read by Fern Britton but won’t be my last! Another great book I could not put down and devoured in one sitting. I absolutely recommend this book. Be ready for an afternoon or evening of completely neglecting any chores as this one will have you hooked within the first chapter. I live for books that leave me immersed and this book did just that. I actually feel quite sorry for the next book that I read because there is no way it be able to compete with this gem.

Was this review helpful?

I always know I’m going to buy and love a Fern Britton book before I know anything other than a release date. I have never been disappointed by any of her writing and particularly love the Cornish books. This latest novel absolutely blew me away. It has half a toe dipped in reality and the other half in fiction. To make this come together so well must have been hard to achieve but the result is nothing short of incredible. Perfect!

Was this review helpful?

This is a fictionalized account of a true story. Marion Crawford is a young teacher with ambitious goals to help unprivileged children when fate takes her on a new path and she becomes a governess to two young princesses, Lilibet and Margaret.

Slowly and surely the royal family becomes her own and their needs were her needs. She becomes a woman with a mission, she could mould the princesses into women with a social conscience, able to use their privileged platform for humanity. Without her, Lilibet and Margaret would never get to experience the normalities of life. She could teach them so much about the world beyond their front door. Her duty is clear: to educate the royal children, to give them security, routine, and happiness.

And with time, she stoically pushed her own desires aside. Like postponing her marriage for over ten years. Even though the other employees warned her that she is just one of the staff in the royal household, she would do anything for the monarchy. And she would do anything for her no-good husband too. Not without the consequences for her life and her relations with the royals.

This is a very well-written and researched book. The reader finds himself in the vortex of a totally different life, court life. All the characters are well developed, and the naivete of Marion toward her future husband was actually so annoying, yet, she couldn't see his corruptive nature until it was too late.

I have enjoyed this book immensely.

Was this review helpful?

The story of Marion Crawford who becomes governess to the Queen taking care of the two princesses.
She wants to do the best in all her duties which means not putting herself first for most of the time. This causes a predicament when she meets and falls in love with George. What is she to do?
Being an avid fan of Fern Britton and her Cornish novels I was not sure what to expect from this one BUT it is brilliant. A great read about the royal family I could not put it down.
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for an ARC in return for an honest review. I absolutely loved it.

Was this review helpful?

Well written, with a riveting storyline and well developed characters that I loved. I loved that it was fiction mixed with real historical people and I loved that it focused on our queen as not much litertaure focuses on this royal family as opposed to others such as the Tudors, the plantagenets and so forth.
Very well researched, I loved it.

Was this review helpful?

Having read a number of Fern Britton's books and enjoyed them i hoped for the same with The Good Servant.
I was not disappointed.
I love Fern's gentle style of writing and found this book very cleverly written. Part true part fiction it must have been incredibly hard to achieve this'
As we know Marion Crawford did exist and was the governess to the two princesses, this story takes us through her life before she worked for the Royals, during and after.

A thoroughly enjoyable read which i would highly recommend.

My thanks to the publisher and to NetGalley for the opportunity to read and advanced copy and to give my honest opinion on.

Was this review helpful?

This was a departure from Fern Britton's usual Cornish based fiction so I wasn't sure what to expect but I really enjoyed it. You could tell that Fern had researched much about "dear Crawfie" in order to craft her story and it gave an enjoyable insight into being in the service of the Royal Family. I would recommend that fans of The Crown read this.

Was this review helpful?

Absolutely loved this. Very well written . A story of the Queens governess and the sacrifices she made in her personal life. You felt she was very naive at times. I know it was written as fiction.but it made you think. Could not put it down.

Was this review helpful?

A really enjoyable read...with insights in to life below stairs with the when Elizabeth was growing up. Fact and fiction cleverly interwoven..telling of Marion Crawford's role as governess to the two young princesses...and also her family and personal life. Interestingly I didn't like the character of George from the start, but Marion's head was turned and he turned out as I thought!
Not Fern Brittons usual style or setting but nevertheless an enjoyable read, which I would recommend.

Was this review helpful?

What an absolutely brilliant read again from Fern Britton. I really loved Marian's story and knowing it was based on a true story made it extra special, she gave up everything for her job looking after the princesses and her private life did not turn out the way she expected and I could really empathise with her thought she was an exceptional lady .Some lovely characters and so well written it draws you in from the beginning. A 5 🌟read and highly recommended

Was this review helpful?

Oh, what a timely read, considering the Queen's jubilee is mere weeks away!
I have enjoyed Fern Britton's books in the past and this was a little different from her other reads, but no less brilliant.
This fictionalised account of a real story follows Marion Crawford, a young Scottish woman who finds herself becoming the governess for the tiny Princesses, Lilibet and Margaret, and follows her years with them, until an awful misunderstanding occurs, causing her to be cast out of the Royal fold, after many, many years of devoted service.
Marion, lovingly renamed Crawfie by her two Royal charges, never planned for this: a life looking after two privileged young girls. Her dream had been to educate herself so she could help the less fortunate children in Scotland, but fate lent her hand, and she ended up somewhere completely opposite.
This is based on a true story, but a lot of it is fictionalised, and what a story, Britton has written. I truly felt for Crawfie.
She seemed so happy in some aspects of her life but had to give up many dreams of her own, to continue to serve the Royal family. This included her hopes to work with young Scottish children and a lengthy engagement to the man she loved, even though he is depicted as a rather underhand character. (FYI, I really didn't like George and wish she had seen through his awfulness, and heeded the warnings she had been given...)
Yes, I know it isn't 100% accurate, but I was hooked from the beginning and I read the whole book in pretty much a day! Loved it!
Many thanks to NetGalley and Harper Collins UK for an ARC in exchange for an honest opinion.

Was this review helpful?

This is a true story made into a fiction story.
Marion Crawford was governess to the two princesses, Elizabeth and Margaret. She loved her job and her charges and gave up her life for them.
Her mistake was to fall in love with a drunk, a liar who just saw her as a way to get rich and as they say Love is blind.
Its up to you to make your mind up about her and the treatment she received. It is another age where different rules were to be followed and trust was everything..

Was this review helpful?

Readers who liked this book also liked: