The author aided in the surprise discovery by the film producers of the Logue Family Archive just weeks before film production began. She introduced the film's researcher to Mark Logue, Lionel's grandson and custodian of the archive.
When Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother died in February 2002 at the age of 101, tributes and personal recollections filled the print media. With them came detailed accounts of her role as the consort of George VI and mother of Queen Elizabeth II. Almost every one of these histories mentioned the King's stutter and his wife's unvarying support, with passing references to an Australian speech therapist or "voice specialist" named Lionel Logue.
As a speech-language pathologist and Australian resident, I was intrigued by these numerous but brief allusions to Logue, who co-founded the College of Speech Therapists (RCSLT) in the United Kingdom (UK). Eldridge (1968) and an entry in the Australian Dictionary of Biography (Edgar, 2000) led me to the Australian National Archive's 200-item file relating to Logue and newspaper archives in Australia and the UK. Other searches in the UK proved disappointing because many of the RCSLT records had been destroyed in a flood at the College headquarters years earlier. I soon accumulated enough information about Logue and his work to post a page about him on my website (Bowen, 2002).
The web page included an appeal for information about Logue, and small offerings—cards, letters, memories, and leads—trickled in for several years. Then, in May 2007, American playwright J.B. (Jon) Miller, who stuttered as a child growing up in England, called me from London in the process of research for his new West End play The Dorchester, in which Logue was a minor character. Over lengthy telephone and e-mail discussions I shared what I knew about Logue.
Prompted by the death of his father, Anthony Logue (the son of Lionel and Myrtle), Mark Logue became interested in ancestry research and wanted to know more about his grandfather. He discovered my website and e-mailed me in October 2007. I put Miller and Logue in touch with each other and in February 2008 they searched Mark's London attic and that of his Aunt Anne (the widow of Lionel's son, Valentine) in Northampton. The search yielded hidden treasures—multitudes of photographs, notes, and letters related to Lionel's life and work.
With this voluminous and fascinating archival material, Mark Logue considered preparing a Wiki page on his grandfather. But months passed and it was not until July 2009 that Leon McCarthy, a researcher for Emile Sherman's See-Saw Films, triggered renewed interest in finding out more about the king's speech therapist. Frustrated with the lack of historical materials, McCarthy contacted me, and I introduced him to Mark Logue, and the rest is history! All thoughts of limiting the historical record to a Wiki page were abandoned. Mark collaborated with journalist Peter Conradi to write The King's Speech (Logue & Conradi, 2010), precisely timed to hit the bookstands simultaneously with the feature film (produced by Sherman) of the same name.
After the immense success of "The King's Speech," I continue to gather information about Lionel Logue, a truly remarkable pioneer of our profession.