Item description for Charlotte & Leopold: The True Story of The Original People's Princess by James Chambers...
The tragic story of the doomed romance between Charlotte, heir to the English throne, and Leopold, uncle of Queen Victoria and first King of the Belgians. A story that Jane Austen famously declined to tell, declaring: "I could no more write a romance than an epic poem."
Charlotte was the only legitimate royal child of her generation, and her death in childbirth resulted in a public outpouring of grief the like of which was not to be seen again until the death of Diana, over 150 years later. Charlotte's death was followed by an unseemly scramble to produce a substitute heir. Queen Victoria was the product.
James Chambers masterfully demonstrates how the personal and the political inevitably collide in scheming post-Napoleonic Europe, offering a vivid and sympathetic portrait of a couple whose lives are in many ways not their own. From the day she was born, Charlotte won the hearts of her subjects and yet, behind the scenes, she was used, abused, and victimized by rivalries-between her parents; between her father (the Prince Regent, later King George IV) and (Mad) King George III; between her tutors, governesses, and other members of her discordant household; and ultimately between the Whig opposition and the Tory government.
Set in one of the most glamorous eras of British history, against the background of a famously dysfunctional royal family, Charlotte & Leopold: The True Story of The Original People's Princess is an accessible, moving, funny, and entertaining royal biography with alluring contemporary resonance.
James Chambers is a professional historian and author of many books on British and colonial history, including The Daily Telegraph History of the British Empire, which sold over 250,000 copies. He has also written extensively for television and made countless BBC TV and radio appearances.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 1.25" Width: 6.5" Height: 9.25" Weight: 1.2 lbs.
Release Date May 1, 2008
Publisher Old Street Publishing
ISBN 1905847238 ISBN13 9781905847235
Availability 0 units.
More About James Chambers
James Chambers is the author of numerous tales of horror, dark fantasy, and science fiction, which have been published in more than 20 anthologies and magazines, including Bare Bone, Bad-Ass Faeries, the award-winning Bad-Ass Faeries 2: Just Plain Bad, Breach the Hull, Crypto-Critters (Vol. 1 & 2), Cthulhu Sex, Dark Furies, The Dead Walk, The Domino Lady: Sex as a Weapon, Hardboiled Cthulhu, Hear Them Roar, Allen K's Inhuman, Lin Carter's Anton Zarnak: Supernatural Sleuth, Lost Worlds of Space and Time (Vol. 1), No Longer Dreams, Sick: An Anthology of Illness, So It Begins, Warfear, and Weird Trails. His wrote the collection The Midnight Hour: Saint Lawn Hill and Other Tales in collaboration with illustrator Jason Whitley. He has also written numerous comic books, including Leonard Nimoy's Primortals and "The Revenant" in Shadow House, and edited the graphic novel adaptation of From Dusk Till Dawn. He lives in New York and can be found online at www.jameschambersonline.com.
James Chambers has an academic affiliation as follows - University of Tennessee, Knoxville, USA.
Reviews - What do customers think about Charlotte & Leopold: The True Story of The Original People's Princess?
Charlotte & Leopold Aug 14, 2008
Fantastic, brilliantly written, this was so easy to read and i just couldn't put the book down. I didn't get lost in the history of who was who etc, Charlotte finally found and married her love but sadly it just wasn't to be with her early death. It has made me want to read and learn more about George 3rd (her father) sisters and i have now purchased the book George 3rd sisters (much harder reading but good so far). If you love royalty this book is a must have, very sad love story. Highly recommend.
The princess who might have been queen Apr 12, 2008
James Chambers has selected, from the British monarchy's treasury of sensational history, the romantic and tragic story of Princess Charlotte (1796-1817, the daughter of the dissolute prince who would become George IV) and her husband Leopold (1790-1865, Prince of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld). This is a light biography, told sensationally and often novelistically, with a lot of dialogue, and there are no foot- or endnotes (the author claims that all quotes are already identified in the text, but I didn't find this to be true). It's also very light on the national politics and international background, with events like the Napoleonic Wars being mentioned rather than explained.
Princess Charlotte was the product of the disastrous marriage between George, Prince of Wales (the eldest son of George III) and Caroline of Brunswick. The Waleses split up almost immediately, and Charlotte was brought up under a series of governesses and educated under Bishop John Fisher (whom she called the "Bish-UP", and the author annoyingly mimics this habit). Princess Charlotte was quite popular with the people, and her father, apparently in fits of jealousy, did everything he could to make her life miserable, keeping her away from her mother, firing servants that she grew close to, slighting her publicly, and treating her like a child even after she came of age. She was even grilled about her mother's activities when the Prince of Wales tried (unsuccessfully) to divorce his wife.
The Prince of Wales was good enough, however, not to force Charlotte into marriage, so after an attempted match with the hereditary Prince of Orange, and an encounter with the rakish Prince August of Prussia that could have ruined her reputation, Charlotte finally met and settled on marrying a handsome officer of the Russian heavy cavalry, Prince Leopold. Even though he had not been her first choice for a husband, she quickly grew to love him, and by all accounts they had a happy and down-to-earth marriage. They did almost everything together, and Chambers relates a charming scene in which an old friend comes to visit and finds the couple at a table engrossed in piles of paper. In response to her hesitancy, Charlotte invited her in, saying, "`[T]is only Mr and Mrs Coburg settling their accounts."
Things took a tragic turn when, after a worrisome pregnancy and a difficult labor, Charlotte delivered a stillborn son and then passed away shortly afterwards. The future of the monarchy was left uncertain and Leopold distraught (as was the obstetrician, whose death would complete what is known to medical history as the "triple obstetrical tragedy"). Although Leopold never really got over her untimely death (he died saying her name), he remarried fifteen years later and named his daughter Charlotte (later Empress Carlota of Mexico).
Overall, this book was entertaining but a bit disappointing for its lack of depth. It's a decent introduction to Charlotte's life, but for depth and insight, a better (if older) choice is Prinny's daughter: A life of Princess Charlotte of Wales.