• Bertie: A Life of Edward VII

  • By: Jane Ridley
  • Narrated by: Carole Boyd
  • Length: 22 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 09-11-12
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Audible Studios
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars 4.4 (269 ratings)

Regular price: $23.44

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Publisher's 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.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By J. D. Portnoy on 04-22-14

I cried when I finished

This is one of those books I couldn't bear to put down. The writing is brilliant, the performance perfection itself, and the story mesmerizing. Gossip, history, fun, and enlightenment are all here, and Carole Boyd is absolutely dazzling in her rendition, mastering flawless pronunciation in several languages and acting worthy of an award. I recommend this book to all who enjoy history, biography, and the theatre of the ear.

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12 of 12 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Robyn on 06-01-13

cannot fault this audiobook

I hesitate to use the word 'perfect', but I really can't fault this audiobook. This biography is as good as any I have read: informative and entertaining from start to finish, painstakingly researched, and beautifully written. At the end, I almost felt I had known Bertie and experienced some of the claustrophobia of the court, counter-balanced by the freedom which came with money and position at the top of the social ladder. It is expertly read by Carole Boyd who has just the right voice for this genre. Her voices for the various characters, her facility with accents, and correct pronunciation of foreign words and names are very impressive. Bertie, Ridley and Boyd - perfect combination.

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8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Knucklebones on 02-17-13

Excellent narration

Carole Boyd is one of my favourite narrators, and she does another brilliant job here in bringing this detailed biography to life. She's particularly good at conveying the rather cloying love of Alexandra, Bertie's long-suffering wife, and all the numerous relations. I never felt lost about who was speaking or being discussed.



As for Edward, I felt very sorry for him. Not particularly clever, he was nonetheless a man of great charm with an innate understanding of others, and it's a pity that he had to wait until he was 60 before he was permitted to do a job. Filling the empty void with house parties, shooting and mistresses must have palled, as it certainly did for me by the end of the book. "Too late", he said when he was finally hailed as King, and I heartily agreed with him. One criticism I have of the book is that I thought his children were hardly mentioned at all - quite an achievement given that he had six of them! Altogether, though, a very interesting and engaging listen and one that's rounded out my understanding of an intriguing man.

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7 of 7 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Katherien Watt on 12-24-12

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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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Vanessa Young on 02-23-17

Comprehensive record of the life of Edward VII

This book was quite amazingly detailed and is a must read for anyone interested in the history of Britain and the role of the monarchy in that history. The author managed to blend the stories of the numerous personal scandals and those of Edward's many mistresses into the 'bigger picture' that was the social and political history of the time. Be warned: this is a long book that requires the reader's full attention in order to keep track of the many players. Carole Boyd is an excellent narrator: she has a particular skill with accents.

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