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Old 04-22-2017, 10:09 PM
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Wonderful synopsis and review of SBS's biography of Charles. Its definitely earmarked for my library one of these days.


No law can be sacred to me but that of my nature. Good and bad are but names very readily transferable to that or this; the only right is what is after my constitution, the only wrong what is against it.

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Old 05-12-2017, 10:54 AM
eya eya is online now
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It's a long review in the New Yorker on Sally Bedell Smith's biography of Charles and the reviewer has come to the conclusion Bedell Smith doesn't like Prince Charles very much.

Where Prince Charles Went Wrong - The New Yorker

(Thanks to Curryong )

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Old 05-12-2017, 12:13 PM
Heir Apparent
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Originally Posted by eya View Post
It's a long review in the New Yorker on Sally Bedell Smith's biography of Charles and the reviewer has come to the conclusion Bedell Smith doesn't like Prince Charles very much.

I wouldn't say that.
The biography isn't a whitewash, but the author doesn't trash Charles, either.
It seemed fairly balanced to me.
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Old 05-13-2017, 06:03 AM
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from what I've read from people's mentioning it, I get the feeling that it is rather harsh in its view of Charles too. However I found her bio of Diana extremely unkind and unfair...
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Old 05-13-2017, 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Mirabel View Post
I wouldn't say that.
The biography isn't a whitewash, but the author doesn't trash Charles, either.
It seemed fairly balanced to me.
I agree. Same for the Diana bio imo. Plain good journalism. Her works stand as major source material for those working on today's social history in the future (imo). Invaluable.
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Old 05-15-2017, 04:57 AM
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Weeelll.... I just read it over the weekend - was able to reserve a copy from the public library and I must say it was both worth the wait and $2 reservation fee. Contrary to what the Daily Fail was leading some to believe, its not the Chuck 'n Di show over again, but it's defiantly one of the better accounts and refreshingly pro-Charles. A lot of this is about PC's efforts of finding both his public role and I guess himself, as well as the future of the monarchy as an institution in the 21st century. SBS also gives probably in the absence of a proper biography of her own one of the best accounts of Camilla in any work hands down - a major plus.

Despite the utility of the Dimbleby biography as a primary source, its tone and style always makes me want to scream and throw it in a fireplace. SBS's did not. She is most certainly on Charles's side but she is also willing to draw attention to his bigger problems, the tendency towards self pity, the sometimes glaring lack of self awareness about his lifestyle (I personally wouldn't call it hypocracy as he does try), and biggest, his low capacity for critical and analytical thinking, which needs to be balanced against his quite high emotional intellegence, and how these all could be pitfalls as well as strengths as king.

I do personally think it could have benifited from a little more comparison on how Charles desire to use the throne as a bully pulpit isn't actually that outregeous in the grand scheme of things and that a number of other European monarchies do this woithout being dragged over the coals by the yellow press and the chattering classes - and that its no co-incidence that those have their constitutional settlements more clearly defined under law esp the monarchs powers (the same comparative approach could have also thrown some useful light on the breakdown of his and Diana's marriage but that's somthing else...). However, that's just me and I know that the book had to be kept fairly simple for general readers who probably aren't au fait or interested in European Royalty overall so I'm ok with that. SBS is also very good at explaining and spelling out a number of UK specific social/political/cultural phenomena and SBS has a good feel for the mores and values of PC's social milieu without being judgemental, as the book is written for a primarily American audience.

TL;DR - read this book, you won't regret it and its the best and most balanced Bio of Prince Charles to date.

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biography, prince charles, sally bedell smith

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