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Edward VII: A Portrait Hardcover – September 16, 1976

24 customer reviews

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--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Review

The writing of history is an exercise in instruction; but that is no reason why it should not also be an exercise in rhetoric, for there is a voluptas to the texture of history that is best conveyed by good writing. Gibbon understood this, so did Macaulay and so did Carlyle in his own crabbed fashion. And so does Christopher Hibbert. (The New York Times) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

CHRISTOPHER HIBBERT, "a pearl of biographers" (New Statesman), is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and the author of Disraeli (Palgrave Macmillan), The Rise and Fall of the House of Medici, The English: A Social History, and Cavaliers and Roundheads. He lives in Oxfordshire, England.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Viking (September 16, 1976)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0713909471
  • ISBN-13: 978-0713909470
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,658,131 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 42 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 31, 2000
Format: Hardcover
He waited in the wings while his illustrious mother ruled on and on. And when his time came to strut across the kingly stage the performance was all too brief. But it was not merely a cameo role that "Bertie" was to play as Edward V11, as this portait by Christopher Hibbert makes clear.
Hibbert traces Bertie's early life as a backward child who was to become the bane of his parents, Queen Victoria and her worthy, hardworking though somewhat stuffy Consort, Prince Albert. So concerned was Albert about his son that he consulted a phrenologist, who promptly noted the "feeble quality" of Bertie's brain.
"Poor Bertie, he vexes us so much", wrote Victoria. And the vexation turned into near hysteria a few years later as a result of Bertie's escapades with young ladies definitely not thought worthy to be considered future queens.
When Victoria's long reign ended in January, 1901, the Ewardian Age began. The new king was 59 years old, portly, and going bald. But he took up his new duties with obvious relish, fully conscious of his vocation, combining hard work with his more agreeable activities of cards, racing, partying and womanizing. Aware of the dangers of war in Europe, he set out to strengthen his country's position on the continent. He had notable success in Paris. At the beginning of the visit an aide noted the subdued response of the crowds when his carriage passed. "The French don't like us", the aid whispered. "Why should they?" replied the King and continued waving. By the end of the visit the King had won the French over and had cemented the Entente Cordiale.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Extensive Reader on December 17, 2009
Format: Paperback
My main concern in writing this review is to warn readers that this is NOT A NEW BOOK by Christopher Hibbert, but a republished version of his previous book, "The Royal Victorians: King Edward the VII, His Family and Friends" published in 1976. That said, it is wonderful to see it in print again, as Christopher Hibbert's inimitable style makes history reading more enjoyable than fiction. I would disagree completely with the reviewer who thought this was a "heavy read"--Hibbert's talent at distillation turns heavy facts into fascinating narrative. I would recommend this book even to those who are not avid history buffs.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By N. Toby on November 26, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Fascinating details of Edward's life and times. Interesting for any history buff, supplemented with photos.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Lenore Kerl on December 16, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As i am an avid fan of Nineteenth Century Royalty and especially the reign of Queen Victoria and her royal proginy i found this book to be especially interesting and well researched as far as facts and various names of individuals which transversed the "drama" of her reign. Edward being the first born son after the birth of Big Sister Vicky had to live up to great expectations from both parents as he would one day wear the Crown of the Empire. It is a bit sad that he was always being compared to his older sister by both parents; however this is a fault which many parents are guilty of, royalty included. I am going to give this book a great review...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By P. B. Sharp TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 29, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In a really peculiar error, Hibbert describes Queen Victoria's death as being on June 22, 1901. (Page 187). Victoria had died on the twenty second of January 1901).

Albert Edward, the Prince of Wales, was a naturally affectionate boy, but unfortunately he was not intellectual and a poor student. Constantly compared to Vicky, the Princess Royal, one year older, and who was exceptionally bright and who loved learning and sopping up knowledge, poor Bertie labored under an excruciatingly long day given to hours of study without relief, encouragement or praise when he occasionally did well. Once when he asked his mother if the pink was the female of the carnation, he was ridiculed when his funny little observation should have been cherished. Bertie reacted with tantrums, stamping of feet and throwing things and the tighter the screws were turned the worse he got. He was commonly referred to by the family as Poor Bertie. Even a phrenologist, who felt the contours of Bertie's head, dismissed the poor child's brain as being of feeble quality.

Bertie grew up, his life severely regimented but he obtained some level of freedom in a tour of Canada and the United States where he was joyfully received and he conducted himself well. On his return he spent some time at both Oxford and Cambridge and was inducted into the army in Ireland. His army buddies tucked one Nellie Clifton, an amiable hustler, into his bad and Bertie entered a new era for him, the pleasures of the flesh. which he pursued with relish.

The Prince Consort, when he heard of Bertie's fall from grace, almost went off the deep end. How a man who had sired nine children could get into such an hysterical twit over Bertie's first sexual escapade is quite remarkable.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Joe on April 15, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Hibbert in this biography reveals the bad, the good, and the fascinating about this king. Taking readers directly to the era. This is an engrossing look at a misunderstood monarch. Anglophiles will be sure to enjoy this book. Hibbert is my favorite and this book is really what made me look into his other works.
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