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The heir apparent : a life of Edward VII, the playboy prince

Author: Jane Ridley
Publisher: New York : Random House, [2013] ©2013
Edition/Format:   Print book : Biography : English : First U.S. editionView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Born Prince Albert Edward, and known to familiars as "Bertie," the future King Edward VII had a well-earned reputation for debauchery. A notorious gambler, glutton, and womanizer, he preferred the company of wastrels and courtesans to the dreary life of the Victorian court. His own mother considered him a lazy halfwit, temperamentally unfit to succeed her. When he ascended to the throne in 1901, at age fifty-nine,  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Biography
History
Named Person: Edward, King of Great Britain; Edward, King of Great Britain; Edward, King of Great Britain
Material Type: Biography
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Jane Ridley
ISBN: 9781400062553 1400062551 9780812972634 0812972635
OCLC Number: 825647850
Notes: Originally published in Great Britain by Chatto & Windus in 2012 as Bertie: a life of Edward VII.
Description: xxiv, 726 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, genealogical tables ; 25 cm
Contents: Introduction: The eighty-nine steps --
Victoria and Albert, 1841 --
"Our poor strange boy," 1841-1856 --
"Neither fish nor flesh," 1856-1860 --
Bertie's fall, 1861 --
Marriage, 1861-1863 --
"Totally totally unfit for ever becoming king," 1863-1865 --
Alix's knee, 1865-1867 --
Marlborough House and Harriett Mordaunt, 1868-1870 --
Annus horribilis, 1870-1871 --
Resurrection?, 1871-1875 --
India, 1875-1876 --
The Aylesford scandal, 1876 --
Lillie Langtry, 1877-1878 --
Prince Hal, 1878-1881 --
Prince of Pleasure, 1881-1887 --
William, 1887-1889 --
Scandal, 1889-1890 --
Nemesis, 1890-1892 --
Daisy Warwick, 1892-1896 --
"We are all in God's hands," 1897-1901 --
King Edward the Caresser, 1901-1902 --
"Edward the Confessor Number Two," 1902 --
King Edward the peacemaker, 1903-1905 --
Uncle of Europe, 1905-1907 --
King Canute, 1908-1909 --
King of Trumps, 1909-1910 --
The People's King, March-May 1910 --
Afterword: Bertie and the biographers.
Other Titles: Bertie.
Responsibility: Jane Ridley.

Abstract:

Born Prince Albert Edward, and known to familiars as "Bertie," the future King Edward VII had a well-earned reputation for debauchery. A notorious gambler, glutton, and womanizer, he preferred the company of wastrels and courtesans to the dreary life of the Victorian court. His own mother considered him a lazy halfwit, temperamentally unfit to succeed her. When he ascended to the throne in 1901, at age fifty-nine, expectations were low. Yet by the time he died nine years later, he had proven himself a deft diplomat, hardworking head of state, and the architect of Britain's modern constitutional monarchy. Jane Ridley's colorful biography rescues the man once derided as "Edward the Caresser" from the clutches of his historical detractors. Excerpts from letters and diaries shed new light on Bertie's long power struggle with Queen Victoria, illuminating one of the most emotionally fraught mother-son relationships in history. Considerable attention is paid to King Edward's campaign of personal diplomacy abroad and his efforts to reform the political system at home. Separating truth from legend, Ridley also explores Bertie's relationships with the women in his life. Their ranks comprised his wife, the stunning Danish princess Alexandra, along with some of the great beauties of the era: the actress Lillie Langtry, longtime "royal mistress" Alice Keppel (the great-grandmother of Camilla Parker Bowles), and Lady Randolph Churchill, mother of Winston. Edward VII waited nearly six decades for his chance to rule, then did so with considerable panache and aplomb. A magnificent life of an unexpectedly impressive king, The Heir Apparent documents the remarkable transformation of a man -- and a monarchy -- at the dawn of a new century.

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