Monday, July 16, 2012

Friday, July 13, 2012

Marie A French Princess in Denmark one copy left


I have ONE COPY LEFT for sale through RBN  (Paypal only) for US sales  Just the US.  The price is $55.00 + $3.99 for postage.  Total $58.99  The price is set by Rosvall Royal Books.  If you live outside the United States, you can order the books from Hatchards in London or Hoogstraten in the Hague.



Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Summ .. summ ... Summer reading



Looking for something good to read ... something you want to put in the bag to take to the pool or the beach  ...I recommend  The Last Boleyn is by Karen Harper.  This is a wonderful historical novel about Mary Boleyn, elder sister of Anne Boleyn.   Mary's life is far less known than her sister, who married Henry VIII,  was the mother of Elizabeth I, and was put to death on trumped up charges.

Mary was Henry's mistress but she was a survivor. She survived an arranged marriage, court intrigues and politics, and she eventually married for love.    The Last Boleyn was published in paperback (Three River Press: $16.00.)

Jubilee! Queen Elizabeth II 60 Years on the Throne

Life Magazine's editors have dipped into their superb photograph archive and put together Jubilee! Queen Elizabeth II 60 Years on the Throne.  This100 page publication relies on photographs rather than text ... this is Life Magazine, after all.   This is Queen Elizabeth II's life in image - from birth to a wonderful photograph of a very happy, smiling queen on the day of the Flotilla. 

This publication also includes Lisa Sheridan, Cecil Beaton  and Karsh photographs.  The editors have also included a two page photo spread on Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee.

I have the soft cover volume, which will be on sale on September 14.  This edition costs $12.99.   The hard cover edition is $17.99.

Coverage of the actual Jubilee is limited to the Flotilla, and nothing afterward.  If the editors had waited just a few more days, they would have been able to add coverage of all the Jubilee events, including the concert, procession and balcony appearance.

Definitely better than anything produced by the Daily Mirror, which has also published a special Jubilee commemorative magazine.

The Diamond Queen



Kudos to Newsweek for The Diamond Queen, a 100 page special publication that commemorates Elizabeth II's 60 years on the throne.  The glossy publication includes historical photographs as well as 21 pages devoted to the Jubilee .. and I am in that crowd!!

The book is divided into four sections: The Media Monarch, the Real Elizabeth, Inside the Monarchy and Culture Queen.  The essays were written by journalists and historians, including Piers Morgan, Robert Lacey, Victoria Mather, Simon Schama, Tom Sykes, Andrew Roberts and Robin Givhan.

There are articles on politics, fashion, the arts, the queen's family,  Catherine, and the queen's relationship with the late Diana, Princess of Wales (just to sell a few copies, I suppose.)

When I was in London I saw more than a dozen magazines commemorating the Diamond Jubilee (all published before the actual event), and some of these magazines are now showing up at Barnes & Noble, but it is better to get a commemorative magazine that actually includes photos of the events.

The Diamond Queen will be on sale through August 5.The price is $10.99.  Definitely worth the price. 

The Last Tsar Emperor Michael II



Donald Crawford's The Last Tsar is an absolutely dreadful book.  This is in spite of the fact that Crawford has put together a competent bibliography of resources.  

This book is supposed to be an update to Michael & Natasha by Crawford and his wife, Rosemary.  That book, published by Weidenfeld & Nicholson, focused largely on the relationship of Grand Duke Michael and his morganatic wife, Natasha Wulfert.  


Crawford now turns to Michael's position as heir presumptive and his putative succession to the throne after Nicholas II's abdication for himself and his only son.  Michael may have been Tsar on paper, but he never reigned, never held power, and ended up as a pawn in the Bolshevik power struggle  It was the Bolshevik "government" that offered false information, stating that Michael had escaped (and providing hope to his wife).  But the truth was different.  Michael and his secretary were shot to death in June 1918, a month before the deaths of Nicholas II and his family.

The book might be more credible if Crawford had actually took the time to grasp basic facts about the succession to the Russian throne.  He also trips often over family relationships.  Page 225 is a good example. 

Crawford wrote: "It would not be long before anti-German sentiment would be so great that the British royals in the House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, as Queen Victoria  thought it would be, would reinvent themselves under the more agreeable name of the House of Windsor.  By an Order-in-Council of July 17, 1918, Alexandra's eldest sister, Victoria of Hesse-Darmstadt, until she married Prince Louis of Battenberg, disappeared, to be replaced by the terribly English sounding Marchioness of Milford Haven, though she had never been there.  Other Battenbergs were translated into Mountbatten and Carisbrooke; the Duke of Teck found himself converted into a Scotsman, as Earl of Athlone."

George V's Order in Council created the House of Windsor.  The decision of his cousins to abandon their German titles came at the same time, but this was not included in the Order.  

It's Hesse and By Rhine, not Hesse-Darmstadt.  Victoria was not created Marchioness of Milford Haven.  Her husband, Prince Louis, was created as the Marquess of Milford Haven.  Princess Victoria was given the opportunity to keep her title, but she chose to give it up, and be styled as Marchioness of Milford Haven.  All of the Battenbergs became Mountbatten.  Prince Alexander of Battenberg, Princess Beatrice's eldest son, was created the Marquess of Carisbrooke, with the family name Mountbatten.

The Duke of Teck, who was Queen Mary's brother,  was created Marquess of Cambridge.  Their younger brother, Prince Alexander of Teck, who was married to Princess Alice of Albany, was created Earl of Athlone.  Athlone is in Ireland, not Scotland.

Grand Duke Kirill's wife, Victoria, is described as "German-born."  She was born in Malta.   Crawford also errs when he writes that Kirill and his brothers were barred from the succession because their mother had not converted at the time of the marriage.  The Fundamental laws are specific about the succession.  Most  brides converted when they married, but the law only applied to the Emperor and his heir.  Alexander II had approved Wladimir's marriage to Duchess Marie of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. 

Following the Borki train crash, a commission ruled that Wladimir and his children had succession rights even though Marie was Lutheran.  She did convert in 1907, when this branch of the family realized that the throne might pass to their branch if Alexis died before he married and had issue.

Kirill's marriage was eventually recognized and approved.  Victoria was styled as a Grand Duchess, and her children recognized as members of the Imperial family.  The Russian Orthodox church does not permit marriages between first cousins (Kirill and Victoria were first cousins), but the church also does not permit marriages between second and third cousins, which would eliminate a number of Romanov marriages.   Kirill and Victoria were married by an Orthodox priest.

Grand Duchess Elisabeth, the wife of Grand Duke Konstantin, never converted,  yet her children had succession rights.  These rights were acknowledged when their daughter, Princess Tatiana, renounced her rights when she married.

Such tosh.  Getting the facts is not difficult.  Lots of good sources for the right information.  Making such sloppy mistakes does not help any possible scholarship.

The Amazon listing does not provide a publisher for The Last Tsar. I have looked through the book several times, and have not been able to find the name of the  publisher. There is nothing on the jacket.   The book must be print-on-demand.

Give this book amiss.  No trees should have died for this crap.