Crowned in a Far Country

Crowned in a Far Country : Portraits of Eight Royal Brides

3.62 (109 ratings by Goodreads)
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Product details

  • Paperback | 240 pages
  • 126 x 188 x 22mm | 258.55g
  • Cornerstone
  • London, United Kingdom
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • Ill.(7col.).
  • 0099539209
  • 9780099539209

Review Text

A royal delight - the portrait gallery of eight women whose dynastic and political marriages took them from their homelands to rule over subjects who frequently loved them (Edward VII's Queen Alexandra) and just as often couldn't say a decent word about them (Louis XVI's Marie Antoinette). Whether deified or despised, however, each has provided Princess Michael of Kent, cousin by marriage of Elizabeth II, with a subject just right for her always gracefully deft, sometimes disarmingly irreverent prose style. The sovereigns range from the familiar to the relatively obscure. Catherine the Great and Marie Antoinette are depicted with an understanding and sympathy that give their often-examined lives a fresh gloss. Leopoldina, Empress of Brazil, and Maria Carolina, Queen of Naples and the Two Sicilies, are among the lesser-known objects of Princess Michael's attention. The author has, as she states in an amusing and forthright introduction, "deliberately tried to ignore politics and concentrate on the lighter side of their lives." She she has been well-advised. The result is a series of sprightly deshabille sketches of women whose lives were often smothered in ceremony but who retained their individuality in spite of the protocol and pageantry. Such images as Minnie, the Empress Feodorovna of Russia, guiltily hiding a smoking cigarette behind her back during an unexpected audience, or of Marie Antoinette's 43-inch bosom, which "must have been quite a handicap on horseback," according to her biographer, bring these royal personages to life in a way that would be unlikely in a more scholarly treatment. This is not to say that Princess Michael has written merely diverting froth. Her research is impressive; her familiarity with the backgrounds of her protagonists evident on every page. (Kirkus Reviews)show more

Rating details

109 ratings
3.62 out of 5 stars
5 25% (27)
4 26% (28)
3 39% (42)
2 9% (10)
1 2% (2)
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