Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Summer sale at Rosvall Royal Books

Looking to add to your royal book collection?  Take a look at Rosvall Royal Books website  for their July -August sale!


Sunday, June 26, 2016

Wilhelm II und seine Geschwister by Barbara Beck

Kudos to German publisher, Friedrich Pustet, which publishes competent and interesting royal books.  One of the firm's more recent books is Wilhelm II und seine Geschwister, which translates to Wilhelm II and his siblings.

German historian Barbara Beck has written a competent book that focuses on the relationship between Kaiser Wilhelm II and his younger brother and sisters (Henry, Charlotte, Viktoria, Margarete and Sophie).  It  is not a surprise to say that the relationships were complicated and difficult.

Beck's style veers between a Ph.D dissertation (minus the footnotes) and a popular history.  The bibliography includes German and English language scholarly and standard books and articles.

Wilhelm II was a flawed man, his personality, his decisions made for family and country, were all formed by his deformed arm, his relationship with parents, his confused identity (British mother) and a desire to run a country and a family with an iron fist.

He could put boundaries on Henry and his wife, Irene (and Henry would have been a very different Kaiser had he been the older son), and Wilhelm's relationship with Charlotte, the sister closest in age, was the strongest although she had streaks of independence.  Charlotte, the wife of the Duke of Saxe-Meiningen, focused on herself - rather on the big picture.

Wilhelm's relationship with his three younger sisters, Victoria, Sophie and Margarete, was far different than with Charlotte or even Henry.  Victoria quickly went off the rails after her romance with Alexander of Battenberg was blocked.   No romance, no children with her husband, Prince Adolf of Schaumburg-Lippe, but what was missing from her life was the support of her family.

The author also has chapters on the two brothers, Sigismund and Waldemar, who died young.

Wilhelm, as a brother, did not have the mechanism to be the good brother.  He treated Sophie rather badly after she became the Crown Princess of the Hellenes, especially when he chastised her for converting to the Orthodox faith, not withstanding the fact that the Greek consort was required to be Orthodox.   His own personally and strident views would not allow him to comprehend the reality of Sophie's situation.

There was also no real support during the first world war and afterward when Wilhelm II was forced into exile.  Yes, there would be correspondence and meetings, but Wilhelm II's relationship with his siblings was supremely dysfunctional.

This is made clear by Barbara Beck.  This is one of more competent modern biographies on Wilhelm's relationship with his siblings.  (Someone now needs to write a biography on Wilhelm II and his children.)

The book is in German, and there are no plans to translate it into English, although ... this is a metaphorical stamping of my feet .. the book is, in my opinion, a very good candidate for translation, as I think there is a market (small as it is, but if marketed to the ideal readership, the book could sell.)

I hope Pustet Verlag will continue to publish more books like this.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Helen Rappaport joins Royalty Digest

Royalty Digest Quarterly welcomes renowned author HELEN RAPPAPORT as a writer for the magazine. Her first article is called "Mr HEATH - The English Tutor who taught Nicholas II to be the Perfect Gentleman" and tells the story of a unique man in a unique position as both employed by and friend of the Russian Imperial family for many years. Read this fascinating story in the new issue of RDQ (2/2016) which has just been published.


Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Royal Collections Vol 1: Great Britain

For no other reason except to sit in a comfy chair and spend an hour or so losing yourself in the stunning new publication from EuropeanHistory.com:  Royal Collections Volume 1: Great Britain.

In the late 1990s, former financial analyst and now publisher-cum-writer, Art Beeche began a royal image collection of postcards and photographs.  The collection has become massive, and numbers  more than 400,000 images.    Wow.  My own collection is diminutive by comparison.

This 258 page is pure delight, page after page of historical photographs from Queen Victoria to present day.  Many of the photos are familiar, while others come from private family collections, and are published for the first time.    Mr. Beeche has purchased several collections at auction or from dealers..  He also acquired personal collections from the late Princess Olga of Yugoslavia, who was the older sister of Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent.

Count Hans Veit of Toerring -Jettenbach, a first cousin of the Duke of Kent and his siblings, also contributed a series of photos that he took at royal events, including Princess Alexandra's 70th  birthday.

My favorite photo (and I wish it were published in color) is on pages 206-207, a two page spread of the group photo taken after Prince and Princess Michael's Service of Blessing in the Anglican church (not a wedding), which took place several months after their civil marriage in Vienna in June 1978.

Another nice photogryaph shows Prince and Princess Michael of Kent with  Lord and Lady Frederick Windsor with their first daughter,Maud,and  Lady Ella Windsor, taken a few months after Maud's birth.

The book is divided into chapters on the British monarchs from Victoria to Elizabeth II, the junior branches (Gloucester, Kent, Edinburgh, Connaught & Albany), the old royal family ( Cumberland and Cambridge) and the extended family (Carisbrooke, Cambridge, Athlone and the Mountbattens).

I could ramble on and on about this special book.  I could tell you about more unique and special photographs ... group and family photographs of Prince Philip with his siblings and their descendants.

Let's just say you will want to order this book ... for the photos. Because the photos are awesome.

This  is a unique compilation because of the publisher's personal collection includes many published and previously private photos.      Royal Collections is the first of what will be a series of books with photos from the Eurohistory Archive.

Don't take this book to the beach.  This is a book you keep on your cocktail table, and dip in it from time to time, savoring all the delightful "new" photos.  Well done, Eurohistory.com

Monday, April 25, 2016

NEW BOOK Wilhelm II und seine Geschwister

I am looking forward to reading this book.  Wilhelm II und  seine Geschwister by Barbara Beck.  The title translates to Wilhelm II and his sisters.

The publisher is Friedrich Pustet.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Princess Grace of Monaco: a selection of books

Here is a selection of books published in the US and in the UK about Princess Grace and the Monegasque Princely family. If you purchase through my links -- or buy ANYTHING from Amazon using the search boxes here in Royal Book News or on my main blog, Royal Musings, I make a few pennies. Seriously, a few pennies, but these pennies can add up ... thanks.


Friday, April 15, 2016

New Books from Eurohistory.com

Two new books from Eurohistory.com.  I hope to have reviews soon ... waiting.

Don't forget, if you click on my links, I make a few pennies (literally) from Amazon.