Top positive review
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A very likeable Royal!
on 24 December 2008
Edward was nearly 60 years of age when he became King. Nowadays most wealthy men of that age are looking to retire - certainly not looking to become King & Emperor as he did.
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.