George V : Never a Dull Moment Jane Ridley

 Although George V was fairly dull and unlikeable, Jane Ridley manages to make this detailed biography interesting, and the era was certainly full of dramatic events, including the First World War and the Russian Revolution. George was unprepared to be king, because he was the second son, but he was actually an excellent king, even acting as a peacemaker in a few constitutional crises. Ridley is a bit hard on him about his love of shooting, which wasn't exactly uncommon in those days.  What made George especially unlikeable was the dreadful way in which he bullied his sons, and Queen Mary didn't do much to alleviate this situation. He also refused to help his cousin, the Czar, but even if he had tried, it would have been too late.

Queen Mary was a bit nicer, but extremely cold and tight-lipped. She also had a mania for objects, but this was probably good in a way, because she considered her life's work the cataloguing and curating the Royal Collection. However, she wasn't much good as a parent, either. One wonders how Edward VIII would have turned out if he had the beautiful and outgoing 'Missy' for a mother! George was prevented from marrying her because of her mother, the Duchess of Edinburgh.

I received this free ebook from Edelweiss in return for an honest review.


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