Bertie: A Life of Edward VII

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Random House, Aug 30, 2012 - Biography & Autobiography - 624 pages
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THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER

SHORTLISTED FOR THE DUFF COOPER PRIZE

Edward VII, who gave his name to the Edwardian era but was always known as Bertie, was fifty-nine when he finally came to power and ushered out the Victorian age. The eldest son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, Bertie was bullied by both his parents. Denied any proper responsibilities, the heir to the throne spent his time eating (which earned him the nickname 'Tum Tum'), pursuing women (which Queen Victoria held to be the reason for Albert's early demise), gambling, going to house parties and race meetings, and shooting pheasants. His arranged marriage to the stunning Danish princess Alexandra gave him access to the European dynastic network; but his name was linked with many beauties, including Lillie Langtry and Winston Churchill's mother. This magnificent new biography provides new insight into the playboy prince while painting a vivid portrait of the age in all its excess and eccentricity.

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About the author (2012)

Jane Ridley is Professor of History at Buckingham University, where she teaches a course on biography. Her previous books include The Young Disraeli, acclaimed by Robert Blake as definitive, while her most recent biography, a highly praised study of the architect Edwin Lutyens and his relationship with his troubled wife, won the Duff Cooper Prize in 2003. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, Ridley writes book reviews for the Spectator and other newspapers, and has also appeared on radio and several television documentaries. She lives in London and Scotland.

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