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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lively and stimulating!
Professor Ridley has written a fascinating book about Bertie-one of the most besmirched kings of England. Contrary to popular belief, which regarded the king as an immature playboy Ridley makes it clear that Bertie, who was much disliked by his mother Queen Victoria, was a much better king than many others and played a very active role after he became king in 1901. True,...
Published 21 months ago by Paul Gelman

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars good
The book is very detailed in parts, perhaps inevitably, and so it is a long haul to read. But I would recommend it to anyhone interested in the Victorian era.
Published 18 months ago by Gordon Jones


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Where are the people who know where the people are., 18 Oct 2012
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British history, royal or other wise, always a good read. Jane Ridley has done a great job on this book, what a writer, what a story. A super book, one,to put aside for the dull winter just around the corner. It's all there, enjoy.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everything you'd expect ...and more, 17 Oct 2012
By 
Penelope Simpson "penny simpson" (dorset, england) - See all my reviews
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Jane Ridley has done a marvellous job with this book. It is everything Claire Tomalin's Dickens should have been, but wasn't. We get the salient detail, the pivotal historical points but, far more importantly, we get the man. It is a tribute to Ms. Ridley's skill that the reader is never entirely sure whether the author approves of her subject - but she doesn't restrict herself to a railway timetable of his comings and goings, rather she chooses those moments that reveal something about the man. She is also ambivalent about Victoria. In the early part of the book she judges her severely but, later, as he grows to manhood, we catch revealing glances of the more thoughtful side of this not so cerebral Queen.

We learn about the Kaiser and how the intermarriage of all Victoria's children into the European Royal families turned out to be less of a blessing and something of a handicap for governments wrestling with a growing sense of nationalism.

A fabulous book that, despite it's packed itinerary, reads more like a novel than a biography.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing read... History brought to life, 2 Oct 2012
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This is the first time i've ever felt compelled to write a review before.
From start to finish the book is impeccably researched, incredibly well written and ignites the characters off the page. For instance, the passages about Daisy Warwick brought her personality and character more to life, than the whole of the awful biography recently written about her. A definite buy for anyone who enjoys history, loves a great read and enjoys learning at the same time as being entertained.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bertie - a great read but what about the index?, 20 Nov 2012
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Being a biography addict and having read several enthusiastic reviews of Jane Ridley's Life of Edward VII, I bought the Kindle version from Amazon.co.uk and am finding it ever bit as good as most reviewers say: quite unput-downable. But why has the Kindle version castrated the index?
The author and publisher have gone to the trouble of producing a good, detailed index for the print version. This is reproduced on Kindle with the note: "The page references in this index correspond to the printed edition from which this ebook was created. To find a specific word or phrase from the index, please use the search feature of your ebook reader."
This is a nonsense and shows a complete failure to understand what an index does. It does not list terms which can be found by searching the text, but rather the concepts which underlie those terms.
To take an example from "Bertie", searching on "upbringing" brings up 6 occurrences, two of them from the text and four from the index. The four mentions include a total of 55 page references, some of them admittedly double-postings (which means that they are repeated in a different context). Let's say there are 40 plus separate points in the text which the indexer thinks worth drawing the reader's attention to as "upbringing" compared with just the two a text search produces.
And, with modern publishing techniques there really is no excuse for this cop-out. It really is no big deal to produce a linked index for a Kindle book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Highly detailed and stimulating biography, 10 July 2014
By 
Huw Davies (Taunton, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Bertie: A Life of Edward VII (Paperback)
'Bertie' is, from the start, obviously written by an academic. Jane Ridley has researched this book impeccably, with access to many of Bertie and Victoria's private correspondence. This adds much to the biography and covers more ground than many previous works.

Ridley's writing style is slightly irreverent in places but always measured and stimulating - I suppose one can't help being irreverent when writing about a man with such a colourful life! This ensures that you look forward with interest to the next political event Bertie is to be involved in, or indeed affair he is about to engage in.

For those who want to use this as an academic text there are references throughout and a highly detailed bibliography. For the more casual reader these are not intrusive (all references are at the back of the book) so they can be quietly ignored and the book enjoyed.

This is a biography for both the armchair historian and the academic - a rare breed in non-fiction.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A very well written and believable biography, 8 July 2014
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I have nothing to add to what has already been written. The book succeeds in putting a much softer hue to his public reputation and makes a believable case. It should be remembered that in his time divorce was a very different proposition than it is today and therefore extra marital activities were more accepted among the upper classes.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent., 9 Jun 2014
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Excellent,a well researched book on perhaps a misunderstood man. I thoroughly recommend it to anyone interested in 19th century history.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A cracking good read most enjoyable, 2 Jun 2014
By 
Mr. I. J. Henderson (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Bertie: A Life of Edward VII (Paperback)
This is an excellent book and a really good read, well researched and written and is most enjoyable.
I bought this book after seeing TV programme on Bertie Prince of Wales. As the book shows there was far more to Bertie than history projects, ok he was difficult but with Victoria who was surely the mother from hell who can blame him for some of his many faults. As the book shows in his too short a time as monarch he did much to sweep away some of Victorias old fashioned ways and add a steady hand to government.
A cracking good read
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 23 May 2014
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This review is from: Bertie: A Life of Edward VII (Paperback)
The research has been done form documents held in the royal collections so the information is brilliant and true.
It gives an excellent picture of not only Bertie but other close members of the family and even MP's and close associates.
It is very readable. Victoria does not come out of it very well!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Worth Reading if You are Interested in Human Character, 22 May 2014
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Engaging, interesting and informative; sometimes it read more like a novel than a biography, sometimes more of a history. It was a good alround read.
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Bertie: A Life of Edward VII
Bertie: A Life of Edward VII by Jane Ridley (Paperback - 3 Oct 2013)
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