These anecdotal portraits of the six children of King George V and Queen Mary are remarkable for the insipid personalities that emerge, as drawn by Hough, author of Louis and Victoria: The First Mountbattens. Save for David, who made history by abdicating for love of American divorcee Wallis Simpson, the Windsor offspring were dutifully responsive to parental control. By imagining the dialogue in intimate family scenes, Hough seeks to display the coldness of German-born Queen Mary and the insensitivity of King George as significant markers in their children's adult conduct. Subjected to often-sadistic nannies and brutal schooling, and handicapped by less-than-commanding intellects, this generation of Windsors nevertheless enjoyed their privileged status even as they learned to adjust to the democratic demands of post-World War I society. Hough's access to family archives, letters and diaries affords interesting glimpses of royals unbuttoned. Photos not seen by PW. (Dec.)
Contrary to what you might expect from the title, this is not about the current crop of young royals. Instead, it is a slightly fictionalized account of the family relationships of King George V and Queen Mary's six children: Edward VIII (Duke of Windsor); George VI; Mary (Princess Royal); Henry (Duke of Gloucester); George (Duke of Kent); and John, who died at 13. This behind-the-scenes look at the rearing of royal children in the 1890s and early 1900s discusses how that upbringing affected Great Britain and its relations with the world. British historian Hough has published biographies of Lord Louis and wife Edwina Mountbatten, etc. Recommended for biography and British history collections.Katharine Galloway Garstka, Intergraph Corp., Huntsville, Ala.