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Alfred: Queen Victoria's Second Son [Paperback]

John Van der Kiste
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
Price: 14.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

30 Nov 2013
Prince Alfred, who was created Duke of Edinburgh in 1866 and became Duke of Saxe-Coburg Gotha in 1893, was the second son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. A patron of the arts, pioneer philatelist and amateur violinist, he joined the Royal Navy as a boy and rose to become Admiral of the Fleet. At the age of 18 he was elected King of Greece by overwhelming popular vote in a plebiscite, although political agreements between the Great Powers of Europe prevented him from accepting the vacant crown. The most widely travelled member of his family, he had visited all five continents by the age of 27, and while on a tour of Australia in 1868 he narrowly escaped assassination at the hands of a Fenian sympathiser. Married to Grand Duchess Marie of Russia, the only surviving daughter of Tsar Alexander II, at one stage he had to face the possibility that he might be required to fight on behalf of the British empire against that of his father-in-law. His last years were overshadowed by marital difficulties, alcoholism and ill-health, and the suicide of his only son and heir.

Frequently Bought Together

Alfred: Queen Victoria's Second Son + The Mystery of Princess Louise: Queen Victoria's Rebellious Daughter + Queen Victoria's Granddaughters: 1860-1918
Price For All Three: 41.76

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Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Fonthill Media (30 Nov 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 178155319X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1781553190
  • Product Dimensions: 23.2 x 15.6 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 153,378 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

John Van der Kiste read Librarianship at Ealing Technical College, where he edited the student librarian journal Stamp Out. The author of over fifty books, including historical and royal biography, popular music, true crime, local history, plays and fiction, he has also contributed articles to and reviewed books and records for local and national publications, was a consultant to the BBC documentary 'The King, the Kaiser and the Tsar', and is a contributor to 'Oxford Dictionary of National Biography' and 'Guinness Rockopaedia'. He lives in Devon. His latest titles are 'Plymouth: A City at War' (The History Press), 'The last German Empress' and 'The Big Royal Quiz Book' (both Amazon Kindle). 'The Prussian Princesses' is due through Fonthill Media later in 2014.

Product Description

About the Author

John Van der Kiste has published over forty books, including works on royal and historical biography, local history, true crime, music and fiction, and is a contributor to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. His previous titles include Queen Victoria's Children, Kaiser Wilhelm II, and The Romanovs: Tsar Alexander II of Russia and his family. He lives in Devon.

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
By Carole
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Having read the original, I was so pleased John Van der Kiste added so much in this second edition. It is a thoroughly good read and I was sorry when I got to the end of it. As he said, so much information has now been released that he has been able to update his first effort. Alfred seemed to be happiest at sea where he was in a position of importance rising from cadet to Admiral of the Fleet, however, he was a very intelligent and conscientious sailor and one feels would have done just as well if he hadn't had such an auspicious parent such was his dedication to the Service. The Navy was the love of his life, not so his wife Marie who was a Russian Duchess and felt marrying Alfred was quite a comedown - she also hated England. Alfred became quite a bad tempered man, probably his heavy drinking didn't do much for his character. Eventually he had to leave the Navy and take up his inheritance as the Duke of Coburg and live in Germany with his family, he seemed to escape as much as he could from his wife, the marriage had soured and she certainly seemed to prefer life when he was out of the way.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but bad spelling 30 July 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
An interesting book. MANY SPELLING MISTAKES - letters left off words or wrong ones added. This book should not have gone to print left like that. The compositor.proof reader were not doing their job.

When the author is talking about two people it is sometimes confusing to know which person he is referring to. I have had to read several sentences/paragraphs twice to decipher which person he is referring to. In one paragraph he refers to the Duke and Duchess of York then further down refers to just "May" but does not clarify who May is. Knowing history I knew that he was referring to the Duchess of York (May being her nickname) but other people not knowledgeable about royalty wouldn't know.
When referring to certain people the author could have just reiterated shortly who they were and their relationship to Alfred.

Despite the above which was most annoying I found the book interesting.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars re Alfred 19 Jan 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It was a very interesting biography plenty of obscure facts and not to much political jargon. I loved it because he is the least known son of Victoria and there are only scant references in all the other books that I have read ( and they are many) so it was super to have a whole volume about him. Sadly there were many spelling mistakes in the print .
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Difficult to read 1 Jan 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I usually read very quickly but am struggling to get through this. Besides the many typos, missing and/or extra words, plus the somewhat shiny paper, the font is bad and the line spacing so close together that it is making it difficult to read. As for the content, some events are glossed over and then others which seem not that important are written about endlessly. I'll keep going but it has taken me five days to get through 1/4 of the book (and it's not very long) when normally a book of this length would have been finished days ago.
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