I’ve been hearing from folks about the new movie, “The King’s Speech”, which came out late last month. It has been nominated for seven Golden Globe Awards. Tom Long of The Detroit News described “The King’s Speech” as “entertaining, funny, touching and smart” and called it “the best film of 2010”. According to the movie review in The Detroit Free Press entitled, “Royally enthralling” by Roger Moore of the Orlando Sentinel, “’The King’s Speech’ tells the moving story of a monarch’s stammer and the man who helped him conquer it.”
The man who helped him conquer it was Lionel Logue. Logue is usually referred to as a speech therapist. He apparently was a Christian Scientist for a while, and then became interested in Spiritualism after the death of his wife. It should be noted here that Christian Science and Spiritualism are quite different from one another. Christian Science does not include mediumship or communication between the dead and the living but rather a close and inseparable connection between God and man. Logue’s approach as portrayed in the movie is not the method of healing practiced in Christian Science, although his knowledge of Christian Science may very well have helped him aid the king with his speech.
The Traverse City Record-Eagle referred to Logue as a “speech therapist”. Tom Long of The Detroit News called him an “eccentric Australian speech therapist”. Adrian Johnson of The Kalamazoo Gazette referred to Logue as an “unconventional speech therapist” while John Serba of The Grand Rapids Press called him a “cutting-edge and unconventional speech therapist”. Michael Phillips of The Chicago Tribune identified Logue as a “speech defects consultant”.
The point is clear – Logue helped the king with his speech.
The king was King George VI of England and Lionel Logue was an Australian. Here are two deeply insightful, informative, and interesting blog posts by two of my colleagues: Tony Lobl in England and Daryl Francis in Australia.
Tony is the London-based spokesperson for Christian Science in Britain, Ireland and the European Union. His post sheds much light and clarity on the “Christian Science factor” in this story. I encourage you to take the time to read it – you’ll be glad you did. Here’s Tony’s post: The King’s Speech – Lionel Logue and the Christian Science question.
Daryl is the spokesperson for Christian Science in the state of Victoria in Australia and his post includes a video interview of Norman C. Hutchinson, who recently published a book entitled, “Lionel Logue, The King’s Mentor”. In this interview Daryl brings out Hutchinson’s point in his account that Logue treated the whole man rather than a particular disease. This post is also very enlightening – check it out. Here’s Daryl’s post: The King and Lionel.
I confess I have not yet had a chance to see this movie and I am really looking forward to seeing it. If you’ve seen the movie and have read the two blog posts I’ve linked to above I’d be interested to hear what you think.
Listen to the King’s actual speech from Buckingham Palace September 3, 1939: