The King is Dead. Long Live the King

As I stated back at the first of the year, one of my goals is to read more in 2011. To that end I made an early trip to the library a couple of weeks ago. I’m sad to say that it took until tonight to finish the first book on the list.

I’ve always been fascinated with British history, and particularly the monarchy. So this time I picked up a copy of The royal Victorians: King Edward VII, his family and friends (Berkley medallion book) by Christopher Hibbert. On the one hand the history is fascinating. On the other, I found the reading particularly dry, thus the two weeks to finish. And as a general literary note, I find it odd that an author would include repeated quotes in French or German, without providing the translation. While the accompanying text gave the general idea of the content, I found it annoying as well as very poor editing.

Edward VII was the oldest son (the second child) of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. What I gathered from this book, which admittedly was sympathetic to Edward, was that neither Albert nor Victoria were very nice people. Edward was constantly berated for not being up to the task, and as you can guess he never failed to live up to their very low expectations. Victoria lived a long time, and as such, Edward didn’t become King until he was 60. He died after nine years on the throne.

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