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Daughter of Empire: Life as a Mountbatten Paperback – November 7, 2013
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Top Customer Reviews
Lady Pamela has written about her life - recounting events - as if from a remove. I have the feeling that part of that is natural reserve, but she does not reflect on much that's happened. As a reader, it takes a bit of getting used to, but its also nice not to have to endure an author's gushy self-analysis. Things happened, relationships came and went, and as a child - the younger of two daughters of the Mountbattens - Pamela lived in a world of parents having lovers who were welcomed as part of the nuclear family. Her father went his way - in his naval career - and her mother traveled a lot with her boyfriend, sending Pamela and Patricia lovely missives from wherever she was in the world. The 1930's passed this way for Pamela, who was under the care of her grandmother and various nannies. She'd see her parents at times, and the family members were always glad to be together again, but then, off Dickie and Edwina would go.
Wartime was spent partly in the United States where she was sent for a year or so of safekeeping, but she returned to England to help out with the war effort. It was after the war, at the age of 17, when Pamela really began to live life. Her parents were sent to India, as Lord Mountbatten was appointed by George VI as the last Viceroy of India.Read more ›
The book centers on the whirlwind years of the author's first three decades of life. In that time she finds herself in every corner of the realm and witness to many of the epic moments and best-known personages of the times. She spends the war with the Vanderbilts and is traveling with Princess Elizabeth at the moment she ascends to the status of Queen. Her childhood and adolescence make for some truly enviable moments.
On the positive side, the text is well constructed and very flowing and conversational. We're introduced to quite a bit of history and seldom-used vocabulary. It's reminiscent of having a long night of conversation with your own grandmother as Mrs. Hicks seems to speak from a position of great wisdom. Most notably, unlike many memoirs of the elite, this one carries not even a whisper of pretentiousness. Hicks shares her memorable and sometimes amusing life with us in an almost matter-of-fact manner. Related, despite some sad moments she is never complaining or seeking sympathy from the reader. Everything, no matter how good or bad is just presented as you might see it in a history book.
Sadly, it is this detachment that makes for the primary negative of this book. The author relates the events of her life with great detail and clarity but they are simply events and seem to have no impact on the author. She's like a reporter impassively reporting on the facts of the matter. Further, so much time and history is covered that it's sometimes difficult to keep track of exactly what's going on.Read more ›
full of historical facts! An entertaining and interesting read.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A straightforward account of life as second daughter of the famous Mountbattens.Published 12 days ago by Animation
Published in 2012 when Pamela Hicks, author, was a wiley 77 years old. Just finished the read in March 2016 and I give it 5 stars for
accuracy, fluidity, wit, truth, and... Read more
Wasn't sure at first but ended up liking it very much. Good style, fascinating events.Published 1 month ago by Natalie Ziegler
This is a well written, unpretentious account of a young woman's life in the royal family. It starts with her childhood and even though she lives in castles, experiences Ghandi... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Gail Parent
This autobiography covers a period of history that saw the collapse of colonialism and the creation of a new political reality for Britain and its allies. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Marilyn M. Oliphant
Wanted to know about Edwina (Pamela's mother) and Nehru's friendship than the book gives.Published 6 months ago by Donald Babbitt