Buy Used
£2.24
FREE Delivery on orders over £10.
Used: Good | Details
Sold by Books2Help
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: ? For every book sold Books2Help makes a contribution to UK based charities. ? Good: A copy that has been read, but remains in clean condition. All pages are intact, and the cover is intact (including dust cover, if applicable). The spine may show signs of wear. Pages can include limited notes and highlighting, and the copy can include "From the library of" labels.. Please note our covers may differ from the stock photo shown. Please take a look at our other items.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Purple Secret: Genes, Madness and the Royal Houses of Europe Hardcover – 2 Jul 1998


See all 2 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Hardcover
"Please retry"
£86.99 £0.01


Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Press (2 July 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0593041488
  • ISBN-13: 978-0593041482
  • Product Dimensions: 24 x 16.4 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 357,662 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Product Description

From the Back Cover

In recent years a hugely successful play and film have been based on the theory, originally advanced in the 1960s, that King George III suffered from the rare and incurable blood disease known as porphyria.

Porphyria is an inherited disorder. Was George III the only victim, or could it have affected his ancestors - or his descendants down to the present day? And if so, what consequences might it have had in the history of Europe and North America?

In a unique collaboration between history and science, which combines historical records of illness and suffering with the latest advances in DNA technology, Purple Secret traces, in an extraordinary and fascinating detective story, the inheritance of porphyria through the genealogical maze of Europe's royal dynasties. Its inescapable conclusion - that the royal houses of Britain and Europe are still haunted by the ghost of George III - sheds light on major historical events from Britain's loss of her American colonies to the outbreak of the First World War and the downfall of the Romanovs, as well as on the present Royal Family. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J. N. W. Bos on 19 Feb 2005
Format: Hardcover
This book is a follow-up on Macalpine and Hunter's famous "George III and the Mad-Business". In the 70's their theory was not believed, because at that time most porphyria research had been done on the population of South Africa only. With new insights, research and techniques, including DNA research, Röhl, Warren en Hunt present very convincing additions to the diagnosis of porphyria for George III and many of his family members and some descendants.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 14 Feb 2003
Format: Paperback
Very interesting & well written overview of a disease that plagued not only George III but apparently his ancestors & decendents...Especially interesting to learn about the sad life of Feodora, Queen Victoria's first great-granchild, and how Alexandra, the last Tsarina's, medical problems affected the Russian monarchy...Excellent research!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 5 April 1999
Format: Hardcover
Though difficult to read at times, mainly because of the wealth of scientific and medical details, this book is well-researched and opens up a whole new avenue of interest to fans of royal biography. At times this book reads like a medical dictionary, yet at others it reads like a first-class detetctive novel and each chapter opens up a new line of enquiry as to whether porphyria has indeed afflicted the Britsh royal family and its European offshoots for generations.The amount of royal personages covered is vast, yet the authors do a commendable job in pulling the many different threads together.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
By cbro on 18 Mar 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Sadly I found this book disappointing. I love history and was fascinated by the subject of the book; whether there was really Porphyria within the Royal family, as so many recent writers have suggested when researching George III, but I found the book lent nothing to what I already knew about the subject.
It was difficult to read and follow in places and it couldn't really make up its mind whether is was a factual research paper or a book!
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4 reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
The definite book on George III and porphyria 19 Feb 2005
By J. N. W. Bos - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This book is a follow-up on Macalpine and Hunter's famous "George III and the Mad-Business". In the 70's their theory was not believed, because at that time most porphyria research had been done on the population of South Africa only.

With new insights, research and techniques, including DNA research, Röhl, Warren en Hunt present very convincing additions to the diagnosis of porphyria for George III and many of his family members and some descendants.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
One of the Most Informative Books About Porphyria 10 Aug 2010
By D. Fisher - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have a loved one with porphyria. There is very little information out there about this rare disease. I found this book helpful in the understanding of how porphyria affects a person through the documentation of each of the members of this royal family symptoms. Toward the end of the book, there is an excellent explanation of the mechanisms of porphyria.

The book was well researched and written. It was fascinating to look into the private lives of royalty but sad to know that they suffered so much. A bittersweet book that I couldn't put down.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
FIVE only for INFORMATIVE 12 April 2014
By F. Huffman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is not going to wow people who are looking for jaw dropping plot, in fact it is boring as heck unless you have a true interest in the illness and death of the people of Royal lineage. I have Porphyria so for me it is interesting to read about the similarities in these people's lives, however unless you have some interest in that disease, I don't think it something that most people would be interested in, it is rather clinical without a developing plot which will bore most people. Entertaining it is not even slightly, I rated based solely upon it's usefulness as information about others who share my malady. I do recommend to anyone who has Porphyria. Physicians are ill informed concerning our disorder but we certainly have it better than these people did.
Please Add New Genes to the Swimming Pool of Royal Hyacinths Before The Flowers Overcome It 14 Dec 2014
By amazon addict - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I thought this book was about hemophilia. WRONG again. This book traces the illness of King George III and porphyia, a metabolic condition that is genetically inherited through a DNA mutation. Unfortunately, this disorder was carried through generations because English monarchs often married their relatives, increasing the chance of this malady occurring. Through Queen Victoria and her numerous children and grandchildren, the mutant gene has spread through European royalty.

I was fascinated by the explanation of the mutant cause of porphyia, and I believe you will also. This is one reason that royalty should marry non-titled persons so that new genes can play in the gene pool that has been swamped by physical and mental issues by marriage to cousins and other relatives.
Were these reviews helpful? Let us know


Feedback