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Edward VII: The Last Victorian King Paperback – 17 Aug 2007

4.6 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan; 2nd edition edition (17 Aug. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1403983771
  • ISBN-13: 978-1403983770
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.1 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 444,986 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Book Description

A riveting biography that vividly captures the life and times of the last Victorian king.

About the Author

CHRISTOPHER HIBBERT, 'a pearl of biographers' (New Statesman), is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. He is author of The Rise and Fall of the House of Medici, The English: A Social History, and Cavaliers and Roundheads. He lives in Oxfordshire, UK.

HUGH THOMAS is a historian of Spain and of the Spanish Empire, an award-winning author and a member of the House of Lords. He lives in London, UK.


Inside This Book

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First Sentence
WITHIN a few months of the birth of her first child, Queen Victoria discovered herself to be pregnant again. Read the first page
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Format: Paperback
Christopher Hibbert is the wide-ranging historian writing mainly on 18th, 19th and 20th century British, Italian and French History. He has also written splendid history-guide books. Described as 'a writer of the highest ability' or as 'a pearl of biographers', he is, in the words of The Times Educational Supplement, 'perhaps the most gifted popular historian we have'.

He puts his amazing talent to good use in his personal history of Edward VII. One understands this "eternal" Prince of Wales who turns out to be a pretty good king in spite of his less promising career before his accessions at least in the eyes of his domineering mother, Queen Victoria. Edward is a likeable character, often weak, hedonistic, interested in the less important things in life, bon vivant, elegant, witty. There is not the high handed, constant moral approach of the Prince Consort which can be at times quite tiresome. He seems to be rather more like his mother, a likeness she did not like. While she fought her weaknesses, he lived them. Hibbert is never blind to his weaknesses, but equally not to his strength like his talent for diplomacy. It is a mere pleasure to read this. I enjoyed every page.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Edward was nearly 60 years of age when he became King. Nowadays most wealthy men of that age are looking to retire - certainly not looking to become King & Emperor as he did.

Hibbert has written a portrait of a very real human being. Edward or Bertie as he was to his family had what most people would call a difficult childhood; one cannot imagine having the form of education he had - very much the irresistable force against the immovable object. Yet, Edward had the real people skills that cannot be taught and Hibbert brings this to life.

Books on Edward are possibly difficult to research as upon his death, Edward instructed that all his personal papers be destroyed - something that Queen Alexandra too instructed upon her death in 1925. However, read this and purchase the DVD series of Edward the Seventh and you have a rich portrait of a King sadly destined to wait more years than he was ever to rule. One can sense how saddened he would have been to see his nephews and son go to war against each other just over 4 years after his death and how he would have reacted to the Czar's assassination with his family, one cannot comprehend.

What we are left with is a story which has been excellently researched and sheds contemporary light on a King who rightly deserves his place in history; who was aware of the need for the continuity of monarchy and ensured that he would never be forgotten.

This is a book that was enjoyable to read and one I couldn't put down. I had a liking for Edward as a monarch after watching the series, now I intend to purchase Sir Phillip Magnus' book on Edward to compare with this one. I recommend it and consider it would make excellent research material for students studying British life prior to World War I as the style of writing is clear and concise.

Buy it! You won't be disappointed.
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Format: Paperback
I found this an absolutely enthralling book. So well written and set out. As a frequent visitor to Sandringham House, it was wonderful to get to know it's principal inhabitants, Edward and Alexandra. Much critised for his extravagant life style, I believe that Bertie would have been an excellent statesman given half the chance. Which of course was the one thing that his mother tried to prevent. Hence the filandering, partying life style. Plenty of money and no job to do!! Wouldn't we all be the same? The author really enables the reader to understand Edwards character make-up, which his own parents were largely responsible for building. I'm sad that Bertie didn't have a long time on the throne, as I feel he would have been a very sucessful and highly popular monarch. I found him an irresistably charming and highly educated man who, sadly, was not allowed to achieve his full potential. With his death, it seems that truly the Victorian years came to an end. Highly recommended.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Having read a huge amount of biographies on the royal family down through the years this stands out as far an away the most enjoyable and the most informative. A very likeable person who had his flaws but comes across as being very humane and a bit of fun. His mother doesn't fare as well! I will go back to this book and re read it many times I would imagine as I didn't want the book to end. Pure entertainment.
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Well written , the author had obviously done their research. Not deep enough for a scholar to use as a reference book, but for the average reader of historical fact it makes a very interesting and informative read.
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