Dirty Bertie, An English King Made in France

Stephen Clarke
 Dirty Bertie, An English King Made in France by Stephen ClarkeThe eldest son of Queen Victoria could have turned into a frivolous, money-wasting hedonist during the 60 years he spent waiting to become King. Well, in some ways he did, gambling fortunes away, and consorting with the most notorious  prostitutes  19th-century Paris could produce (and it produced quite a few). But, as my book tries to show, he put his fun to good use. Escaping from Victorian Britain turned him into an easy-going, open-minded, surprisingly un-snobbish European, a Francophile when his mother had given up on France as a nation of degenerates.

Without Bertie's love of France – and France's unconditional love for him, his accent, his fashion sense, his sheer Englishness – there would have been no Entente Cordiale, of course. And without the Entente Cordiale and Bertie's frequent personal interventions to  calm the manic wrath of his nephew Kaiser Wilhelm, the First World War would have come much earlier, with Britain even less well-prepared.

Available on Amazon.co.uk