Edward VII was king of Great Britain from 1901 to 1910, after whom the flowery Edwardian era was named. Weintraub previously wrote a well-received life of Edward VII's mother, Victoria
(1987), and now follows that with an equally trenchant biography of her son. The author is concerned here only with Edward's time as prince of Wales--heir to the throne, in other words--which actually constituted the greater portion of his life. (He was already 59 when finally he succeeded Queen Victoria.) As prince of Wales, Edward was given no official duties by his selfish mother and consequently found the time to build quite a reputation as a womanizer. Weintraub looks beyond the reputation, offering a sympathetic interpretation not only of Edward's character but also of his upbringing as the eldest son of parents--Queen Victoria and Prince Albert--who set too-high expectations for him and always let him see their disappointment. An important addition to the British royalty shelf. Brad HooperCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Having written acclaimed biographies of Victoria and Albert, Weintraub turns to their son's long years as heir. This candid, scrupulously researched life goes into absorbing detail on his difficult childhood and often scandalous behavior...For any connoisseur of royal chronicles or books on the Victorian age this is an indispensable read.The Oxford Times
Riveting...A king in waiting for 60 years (this biography stops with his accession to the throne), he can perhaps be forgiven for burying boredom in the pursuit of pleasure -- sexual especially -- where so little opportunity was given him (cf. Elizabeth II and Charles) to make himself useful on the national stage. The poor chap -- too thick even to read a novel -- would ever, of course, be measured by his mother against that intellectual paragon Prince Albert, and found wanting.Independent on Sunday
Weintraub excellently conveys the sly tactics employed by the Prince to get away with as much as he could -- he did what he felt like, and when caught, made apologies that were both charming and disarming.New Statesman
Edward VII still haunts the British monarchy today. His 60 unsatisfactory years as the Prince of Wales bind all those rogue royal males together, the ones whose restlessness has proved so damaging to the crown over the past two centuries.