Although timed to appear as the Prince and Princess of Wales visit the U.S., this gossipy, silly confection will need no such tie-in to take off: witness the endless reams of newsprint routinely devoted to the heir-apparent and his missus to feed the appetite of an apparently insatiable public. Martin merely adds another dollop of Devon cream to the story of the courtship (albeit he needs 148 pages to progress from the first so-called significant meeting to the courtship proper) and marriage. The book proves to be, as Martin observes here about this pair in another context, ``the kind of mush'' that sells. With frequent intelligence from palace insiders like Barbara Cartland, we're shown the wifewhose ``mousy light brown hair is streaked blonde every three months''the husbandhe collects antique loosthe babiesnot much to be said about themthe familyRoyals tend to communicate primarily through their secretariesand supporting players in the cast of an extravaganza that the hoi polloi, at least, will eagerly gulp down. Photos. 150,000 first printing; 100,000 ad/promo; author tour. November 8
In this dual biography Martin delves in minute detail into the lives of Prince Charles and Princess Diana from infancy to adulthood. While there is some of the speculative prose common to many popularized biographies (e.g., ``he must have known . . .''), it is kept to a minimum here. Of more interest is Martin's thorough treatment of the historic nature of the monarchy and the attendant, and endless, rituals. Martin's extensive interviews with friends, staff members, and family, lend a note of authenticity. Although one would think that enough has already been written about this couple, their tour of the United States, slated for this month, will surely create renewed interest. Since this work is superior to other books on Charles and Diana, public libraries should purchase as demand requires. Terrill Brooks, Baker Jr. Coll. Lib., Flint, Mich.