Portrait of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother by Sir Gerald Kelly

“Have you read Arthur Koestler’s last book?” wrote Queen Elizabeth of England to the author Sir Osbert Sitwell in November 1943 about Koestler’s Arrival and Departure, which covered his life as a Hungarian refugee. “I did not like it quite so much as Darkness at Noon.” Another of her favorite writers was the Jewish immigrant to New York Leo Rosten, and she was deeply opposed to Oswald Mosley’s Blackshirts as they rampaged through the East End of London in the late 1930s. In 1975 she wrote to her son-in-law thanking him for sending her Duncan Williams’s book The Trousered Apes: Sick Literature in ...