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.