Following on from the success of Brief Lives, published in 1997, and Political Lives, Stage and Screen Lives, and Literary Lives, published in 2001, Royal Lives, which will publish alongside three other titles, Musical Lives, Secret Lives, and Military Lives, will be a welcome addition to the series to anyone with an interest in the history of the British royal family.
Being born a member of the royal family is not a choice a person can make. It is not a career that can be decided upon and it is not something that can be done in isolation from the outside world. People have always been interested in the lives of the royals, past and present, and how they each have coped with being in the most famous family in Britain.
The entries in this collection of mini-biographies should be viewed within the historical context in which they were written. For example, the Victorian editors of the DNB took great care to ensure that what was written about the subjects would adequately reflect the status of the monarchy at that time. This fact in itself says a lot about the era in which these particular entries came from. Viewed as a whole this anthology gives an idea of just how much the role of the monarchy has changed from the days of George III to those of Elizabeth II.
The authors of the entries aren't all well known to the outside world, but more importantly they were well known to their subjects and it is this fact that provides for a fascinating and varied read.
John Grigg on Edward VIII
Owen Morshead on George V
G. K. S. Hamilton-Edwards on Marina, Duchess of Kent
Theo Aronson on Alice Keppel
F. E. G. Ponsonby on Francis Knollys
Michael Maclagan on Alan Lascelles
Kenneth Rose on Lady Patricia Ramsay
Sidney Lee on Queen Victoria
John Gore on Clive Wigram
Philip Ziegler on Wallis Simpson
|Publisher:||Oxford University Press, USA|
|Product dimensions:||8.50(w) x 5.40(h) x 1.30(d)|
About the Author
Frank Prochaska teaches in the History Department at Yale University and is a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Historical Research, London University. He has written and broadcast extensively on the monarchy (see Books by the same author, below). He is also an associate editor of the New Dictionary of National Biography.