- 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
Edward VII: The Last Victorian King Paperback – 17 Aug 2007
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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.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A very interesting biography of this racy King. Well researched and written.Published 27 days ago by Vivien
It was OK. A lot of repetition from other books on Edward VII.Published 15 months ago by Joanne Burch
As ever with Christopher Hibbert a top-notch read. Turns out Edward was quite the slug: faithless, feckless and full of his own importance.Published on 12 Aug. 2013 by MB
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