“One of those rare biographies that you will read again and again.”
Royal Book News
“A poignant small masterpiece, a book that constitutes an illuminating entré
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This is a well researched, insightful biography.
Prince Leopold was a kindhearted, intelligent young man who, sadly, was afflicted with hemophilia. Unfortunately, he was also afflicted with a selfish, jealous, manipulative, narcissistic mother. That he was able, not only rise above an extremely painful disease to live an almost normal life, but summon the energy and will to fight his mother, Queen Victoria, so that he would be allowed to have it, shows immense strength of character.
There is a ty
I thought this was a very well researched, but ultimately not particularly readable biography of Prince Leopold. Whilst the details about his illness were interesting, I some times found myself lost in a morass of knee injuries and leg injuries and references to letters which meant I found it hard to keep track of the timeline and how time was passing relative to how often the attacks happened. The analysis of deaths of young male children among Queen Victoria’s ancestors was new to me and I wou
There was also very little context on who some of the wider players were – it was only going on a wikipedia research run later that I realised that the Daisy Maynard who was touted as a potential bride became the Countess of Warwick and mistress to Leopold’s older brother the Prince of Wales. This sort of connection (and who knows what others there might have been that I missed) are the sort of thing that really help tie in the information from a book to the wider period -whether you’re like me and have read quite widely across it and across Daisy Warwick before (I’m still not quite sure how I didn’t realise at the time, but in my defence it was her maiden name being used and I don’t think I’ve ever read a biography just of her) or whether it’s providing context and sparking an interest in what you’d like to explore and read about next.
But the most glaring omission for me was a chapter on his legacy – and what happened to his family after his death. Even a very short epilogue would have done, instead the book just stopped after brief details of his funeral (which was a suprise as there was still 15ish% of the book to go – I hadn’t realised how much space the footnotes/references were taking up).
Ultimately the best boks are the ones which are well researched but wear it lightly and in some cases in this book I felt like the author was trying to make sure iI knew that she’d read a lot of papers before coming to these conclusions. As a history graduate I’m well used to the concept of referencing your sources, but it is possible to do this and write a history book which doesn’t feel like the author is trying to ensure there’s no chance of losing marks for forgetting to reference properly. This can be particularly irritating on the kindle touch – as you can accidentally hit on a reference in trying to turn the page and find yourself in the end notes and not sure which is the correct one to click on to get you back to your place as they’re all references to letters and papers.
This had been on my kindle waiting to be read for a long time, and in the end, although it was ok, I was a little disappointed that I didn’t learn more, particularly considering the amount of time it took to read it.
A soundly researched account, based largely on primary sources, of the brief life of Leopold, youngest son of Victoria and Albert.
Without resorting to melodrama or purple prose, Zeepvat lets the grim story speak for itself. Leopold was a hemophiliac who endured great pain, chronic invalidism, and the expectation of a short life. His miseries were enormously compounded by his mother’s breathtaking narcissism and unconscious cruelty. On the one hand he was deeply depressed much of the time; on the