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  • Bertie: A Life of Edward VII

  • By: Jane Ridley
  • Narrated by: Carole Boyd
  • Length: 22 hrs and 35 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (316 ratings)

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Bertie: A Life of Edward VII cover art

Bertie: A Life of Edward VII

By: Jane Ridley
Narrated by: Carole Boyd
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Summary

Entertaining and different, this is an enjoyable study of a flawed yet characterful Prince of Wales seen through the eyes of the women in his life. Edward Vll, who gave his name to the Edwardian Age and died in 1911, was King of England for the final 10 years of his life. He was 59 when at last he came to the throne. Known as Bertie, the eldest son of Victoria and Albert, he was bullied by both his parents. Although Bertie was heir to the throne, Victoria refused to give him any proper responsibilities, as a result of which he spent his time eating, betting, and womanising.

Bertie's numerous mistresses included the society hostess Daisy Brook ('Babbling Brook'), Lillie Langtry and Alice Keppel. When Bertie finally became king, he did a good job, especially in foreign policy. This colourful book gives Bertie due credit, while painting a vivid portrait of the age in all its excess and eccentricity, hypocrisy and heartbreak.

©2012 Jane Ridley (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

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What listeners say about Bertie: A Life of Edward VII

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nice narration

interesting insight into the wider politics of berties reign.
Not that flattering but interesting to see inter relationships.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great narration.

Beautifully narrated. He was far more interesting than I imagined he would be. A great insight into the period. Fascinating to hear about his mistress, Jenny Churchill and her son, Winston, before he became famous for WWll. A good hearted, kind and generous King.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Massive and methodical

An immense book which chronicles the life of Bertie, King Edward VII from cradle to death. This book includes details of his life and experiences of being queen Victoria's child and the relationship he had with her until her death in 1901.

This is a massive listen of over 22hrs and demanded a lot of time to listen. I was more interested in the latter period of his life of which is named after him, the Edwardian era. While I feel much of the information within the book I already felt that I knew, particularly in regarding his often fractious relationship with Queen Victoria. There was also parts that I was more unaware about such as the period when he eventually ascended to the throne. I feel the common remembrances regarding Bertie are around his early life when he had little to no responsibility. However it appears that when Bertie was given the responsibility as King he became a workaholic and began shaping the crown and monarchy into what we would recognise and understand today. In addition it was interesting to discover the amount of public grief displayed by the general public following his death which felt reminiscent of the grief displayed following the death of Princess Diana.

Overall this was an interesting read, however it felt at times overally long and ponderous.

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Very listenable to

I found this book fascinating and nit at all stodgy like some royal biographies. When I had finished I listened to it all over again.

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Great combination of history and acting

This 'story' - because the facts that are the lives of the British Royal Family are far more like stories than a real work of fiction would dare to mimic! - is brought to life by the narration.

It is interesting to hear the details of this man's life meticulously rolled out by the author, and the era through which he lived - largely in the shadow of his mother - is really brought to life, at least from the perspective of Bertie's 'class'. But the book is made even better by the narration by Carole Boyd, la Snell in The Archers. Brilliant.

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    5 out of 5 stars

Bertie - the untold story

I found this book both fasinating and informative, well written and easy to listen to. History has made Bertie a poor follow up act to Queen Victoria and much has been made of his affairs, which this book covers in some detail. But it also enlightened me to what a true statesman he was in his knowledge of European foreign policy ( well he was related to most of the royal families by blood or marriage after all) and could forsee the First World War, although he died four years before it began.

Couple of interesting facts: he was reluctant to see his mother on her deathbed as he had never seen her in bed before and his passion for wearing military uniforms something he shared with his nephew the Kaiser.

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9 people found this helpful

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A very enjoyable audiobook

I never expected a biography of a royal could be do interesting and captivating. Carole Boyd is a wonderful narrator. A book not to be missed.

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Hugely enjoyable and informative

The Victorian and Edwardian periods have not held much interest for me but Jane Ridley’s detailed and balanced biography has been an eye opener. Well read by Carole Boyd I was fascinated to the end. Thoroughly recommend BERTIE both as a biography and for the in-depth historical research written in an accessible style.

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Bertie Edward VII

This book was one of the best reviews of a Royal life lived in excess and privilege that l have had the pleasure to listen to

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Excellent

A well written book , very interesting, and excellently narrated.How the playboy Prince with all his indiscretions became a much revered King...so whilst historical in context also has relevance today!

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1 person found this helpful