Grimaldis of Monaco

Grimaldis of Monaco

by Anne Edwards
     
 

The Grimaldis of Monaco tells in full, for the first time, the remarkable history of the world's oldest reigning dynasty. For nearly eight hundred years, from the elegant Genoese Rainier I to the current Rainier III, the Grimaldis - "an ambitious, hot-blood unscrupulous race, swift to revenge and furious in battle" - have ruled Monaco. Against all odds, they have… See more details below

Overview

The Grimaldis of Monaco tells in full, for the first time, the remarkable history of the world's oldest reigning dynasty. For nearly eight hundred years, from the elegant Genoese Rainier I to the current Rainier III, the Grimaldis - "an ambitious, hot-blood unscrupulous race, swift to revenge and furious in battle" - have ruled Monaco. Against all odds, they have proved themselves masterful survivors, still in possession of their lands and titles despite the upheavals of the French Revolution and the First and Second World Wars, when royal heads rolled and most small countries met their demise. With insufficient weaponry and military forces far too small to go into combat against their more powerful neighbors, France and Italy, the Grimaldis endured by their cunning and their shrewd choice of brides - rich women with high connections in the most influential courts of Europe and, often, strong sexual appetites. The French nobleman's daughter who married Louis I later became the mistress of France's Louis XIV. Her son, Antoine I, was wed to an aristocratic wife who outdid her mother-in-law by having so many lovers her husband took to hanging them in effigy. The seafaring adventurer Prince Albert I was unfortunate enough to have two wives, one British, one American, who ran off with their lovers. His second wife, the American Alice Heine, a fabulously rich heiress from New Orleans and the widowed Duchesse de Richelieu, was the model for Proust's Princesse de Luxembourg. And the last section of the book is devoted to the current generation of the Grimaldis. Here, a new image of Ranier III emerges as both man and monarch, beginning with his blighted childhood as the son of divorced parents and of a mother scorned as illegitimate. And preceding the drama of his world-famous marriage to Grace Kelly, there is an account of his intense love affair with a French film star and the reasons behind his sister's lifelong malice and envy of him. The final note is necessarily t

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Scandals outweight the grace notes in Edwards's (Queen Mary and the House of Windsor) utterly engrossing dynastic history of Monaco. A stronghold for warring armies from 200 B.C. onward, Portus Monachus became a possession of the Grimaldi family during the 12th century and the principality has survived against cataclysmic events in neighboring countries and greedy exploitation by Monaco's rulers as well as by outsiders. But in our own day, Edwards shows, Prince Rainier III has proved to be a wise governor, improving life for his subjects while guarding his Mediterranean rock from would-be marauders. The most recent plunderer, Aristotle Onassis, was bested by Rainier in a showdown in 1964, which Edwards describes as having all the elements of the shootout in the Hollywood Western. The bullet, however, was a check for $ 10 million which the principality dispatched to the Greek shipping tycoon as payment for his entire stock in the Societe de Bains de Mer, which controlled Monaco's major assets, including a gambling casino, two sporting clubs and a hotel. Exclaimed Onassis: I was robbed! Photos not seen by PW. BOMC alternate. (Oct.)
Library Journal
Unlike most popular works about the ruling dynasty of Monaco, this entertaining popular history starts with its origins. The first section, 1215-1795, suffers from oversimplification, as Edwards tries to condense complex political and social history into too little space. As the narrative moves into more recent times, the writing becomes more relaxed and clearer. Prince Rainier, Princess Grace, and their families dominate the last third of the book. As one would expect of Edwards, the author of numerous popular biographies of historical, political, and cinematic figures, the emphasis is on the social--marriages, divorces, affairs, feuds, and grievances. Political and economic events are given scant attention. There are some factual errors, but generally the history is accurate if superficial. Libraries already owning much of the large literature about Prince Rainier and Princess Grace probably don't need this book. However, the author's popularity and the substantial publicity planned may create demand. BOMC alternate.-- Barbara Walden, Univ. of Minnesota Libs., Minneapolis

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781558007260
Publisher:
NewStar Media, Incorporated
Publication date:
10/10/1992

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