George V's first biographer, Harold Nicholson said of the then Prince George when he was a young man that he did nothing but shoot animals and sick stamps into books (he is even quoted in this book). But this is hardly the whole story of George V, the first "modern" monarch whose life is so beautifully brought to life by Kenneth Rose. Rose brings the whit of an acerbic diarist and the knowledge of a scholar to form one great, impressive work on the life of a very important king. A good amount of time is spent on the politics that pursued George through his reign, from the House of Lords debacle of 1911 to Irish Home Rule to the first British Labor government of the early 1920s. But we get just as much insight into this king's mannerisms, tastes, household, and family life. Rose famously exposed George as the guilty party who denied asylum to the deposed Nicholas II and his family, contradicting the prevailing view that, until this book was written that, it was his Prime Minister Lloyd George who denied the tsar a safe passage to England. This is an honest, detailed account of a king who is now seen as the founder of the House of Windsor, the grandfather of the current queen, and a simple man who was in an extraordinary position in history.