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on 4 January 2013
Actually, I like it a lot. Amazon can put ****1/2. This book is a credible account of the facts concerning the European royal haemophiliacs and of the appearance and disappearance of the gene in one family. Just what I wanted. The author's skills are, true enough, more medical and forensic than historical, thence the missing 1/2 star. But the balance is predominantly positive.
I wish D.M. Potts would tackle the gene of the madness of George III!
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on 23 October 2000
The life and times of the great Queen Victoria continues to hold an enormous fascination over people, both in Britain and worldwide. This book gives a clear and astounding account of Victoria's anticendants and descendants, and the effect of the haemophilia gene. This cruel disease, passed on to sons, and carried by mothers and daughters, caused a life of misery to the unfortunate male recipients. So what was the origin of the gene carried by Victoria? Two of her daughters, also carriers, spread the disease into the Royal families of Europe and Russia. Victoria's son Leopold suffered with the disease. Was it a one in 50,000 chance genetic mutation, or was Victoria fathered by a haemophiliac? This book will surprise and fascinate anyone who reads it - although I don't think Victoria herself would have been too 'amused'!
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on 11 February 2011
This book absolutely intrigued me! It covers (albeit not in details but enough to raise further interest) on not just hemophilia, but medical practises popular in the 18th and 19th century including the use of bleeding pregnant women so they were ussually anaemic by the time they gave birth! It also gives an interesting insight in to the Russian royal family and Rasputin which laid some myths to rest for me. All in all, this book may be a little sensationalist regarding the insinuation that Queen Victoria's father may have been someone other than her mother's husband, but it's an interesting theory. I found the book hard to put down as it enthralled me so much and I would recommend it.
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on 29 July 2013
The explanation of Haemophilia contains enough significant material without being too scientific, and useful to read about the effects on the major European dynasties in the 19th/20th Century. A comfortable read with lots of contextual background - I very much enjoyed this book.
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on 12 March 2012
I enjoyed this book, and certainly found out a lot about haemophillia. My only slight critisism, was that a bit too much time was taken reviewing the Russian Revolution, which had it's place in the book, but perhaps in less detail.
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on 1 April 2014
This is an excellent book on the problems of the blood clotting. This is a nasty thing to have and poor old Leopold had a miserable life.
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on 20 July 2006
This book's most sensational claim is based on a gross statistical error. The authors contend that an affair with a haemophiliac man is a more likely source of the haemophilia mutation Queen Victoria passed on to her descendents than a new mutation. The persuasiveness of this claim lies in the tiny probability (1 in 50,000) of such a mutation arising in the general population. However, note that this probability applies to the general population, in which haemophilia cases are very rare (about 1 in 10,000 males). Given the knowledge that haemophilia has appeared in a family, the probability of having incurred a new haemophilia mutation is of course much higher. In fact about 1 in 4 haemophilia cases are due to a new mutation, so the less sensational explanation is 12,500 times more likely than claimed by the authors.
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on 28 August 2015
Interesting, food for thought.
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on 29 September 2002
this is a really interesting book. i'm obsessed with all things romanov and this was quite informative about alexei's illness. but before that there is loads of stuff about which monarch had which mistress/es etc, and it all becomes a tad confusing sometimes! i learnt a load of stuff about the nature of haemophlia from it. despite the confusing bits, overall a pretty good book, i reckon.
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on 1 October 2009
I actually loved this book! I'd always been intrigued by the whole haemophilia gene in the royal family and this book totally clued me up on all the historical side of things and the different theories on Victoria's legitimacy. It looks at quite a few members of Victoria's family and is really quite a gripping read. It's also quite funny as well, depending if you can laugh at the bizarre methods used to try and cure haemophilia in the olden days.
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