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  #1  
Old 05-29-2012, 09:24 AM
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"The Great Survivors - Monarchy into the 21st Century" by Peter Conradi (2012)

"The Great Survivors - How Monarchy Made It Into the Twenty-First Century"
by Peter Conradi



Print Length: 400 pages
Publisher: Alma Books (June 2, 2012)
Language: English
ASIN: B0083V419Y
Formats: Paperback, Kindle edition
File Size: 839 KB


Publisher's blurb

From the co-author of The King's Speech comes an uncompromising portrayal of Europe's royals. In this riveting and extensively researched account, Peter Conradi reveals the scandals, excesses, conflicts, and interests hidden behind the pomp of the ceremonial garb and the grandeur of official functions.

Taking the reader on a journey between past and present, into a world populated by great celebrities such as Wallis Simpson, Grace Kelly, and Princess Diana, it compares and contrasts the history of the House of Windsor with that of its Continental counterparts. It also looks at monarchy today, in terms of its political role, the way it is financed, its relationship with the media, the threat it faces from republicanism and, of course, the often controversial and sometimes scandalous behaviour of its members.

At a time when Western society appears to be demanding more equality and democracy, people's fascination with monarchies shows no signs of waning.


The author

Peter Conradi is an author and a journalist who works for the The Sunday Times.
He is the author of Hitler's Piano Player and the co-author of The King's Speech: How One Man Saved the British Monarchy.


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  #2  
Old 05-29-2012, 09:47 AM
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In conjunction with the publishers, Alma Books, for the release of



"The Great Survivors -
How Monarchy Made It Into the Twenty-First Century"
by Peter Conradi,


TRF is pleased to announce a quiz/competition.


The publishers have made available three copies of "The Great Survivors "
to be awarded to the winners.




Further details and the Quiz itself can be found in the
Community Forums - Forum Announcements thread,
here



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  #3  
Old 07-07-2012, 11:29 AM
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Okay, this may turn into a long winded review but trust me it should be worth it!

I bought the book expecting a lot I must admit, the title intrigued me and the little quiz the TRF gave use just sparked my interest even more. So I decided to purchase as my summer is getting long and boring.

My biggest problem with the book is the errors in the writing and the facts, to list but a few;

1 - "Queen Elizabeth II is the starting point for any discussion of Western Monarchy - and not only because she is Europe's longest reigning Monarch", I double checked with Artemisia and a few other boffins on European Monarch and as I though, Louis XIV, King of France was Europe's longest reigning monarch.
2 - "While Queen Elizabeth has had to contend with the odd intruder in the palace, there have been no attempts on her life" I assume he doesn't include Marcus Sarjeant who fired 6 blank shots at The Queen during the 1981 Trooping.
3 - He's talking about Mary and Frederik of Denmark "Yet they reportedly employ twenty five staff including maids, nannies for their three children" As far as I can remember Josephine and Vincent are twins, you can't have had one without the other.
4 - He's now talking about King Haakon of Norway, his wife Queen Maud and their son Olav and how Olav may not have been Haakons child. "The strange assertion was based on examination of the royal couple's travel records, which Bomann-Larsen said showed that Olav had not been with his wife at the time the baby was thought to have been conceived" Possibly because Olav is Maud's son, not her husband.
5 - Discussing the birth of Prince Willem-Alexander in 1967 the author says "he (referring to Prince Claus) and Juliana produced a baby boy, Willem Alexander". They mixed up Juliana with her daughter Beatrix.

To name but a few, the book is also laced with grammatical errors, missing words, incomplete sentences that I cannot understand. Not to mention the use of titles which are completely messed up from one chapter to the next. This might seem nitpicky to some but I sort of expected this author to get the details correct, this book must have taken a while to complete and a while to check, so I don't see why so much has gone un-noticed.

Also - in the last chapter, Conradi sees into the future and describes the life of King William V of England and Wales. I find it highly amusing and that it added nothing to the book.

All in all, I was disappointed it didn't tell me anything new, it was like a chronology of the royal families through the ages and how they have dealt with the media, wars, divorce etc. Nothing I didn't know already, and nothing I couldn't have found out for free. I would give it a 3 out of 5, but anyone wanting to buy it wait until it drops in price, paying 14 was a rip off!
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Old 07-07-2012, 11:57 AM
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On the contrary, Lumetqueen: I found your review not long winded at all. Most of these people who make comments on the authors's behalf are probably paid to make the comments and have never even heard of, much less seen a copy of the work they're supposed to be critiquing. It sounds like this 'riveting, extensively researched' account is just another way for Peter Conradi to make a fast buck. I wonder if he says anything about the Romanovs or the Lumxembourg or Liechtenstein royals?
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Old 07-07-2012, 12:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexey 1904 View Post
I wonder if he says anything about the Romanovs or the Lumxembourg or Liechtenstein royals?
He does indeed, more about the Liechenstein royals and their increase in power. Little about Luxembourg, not even much about the marriages to be honest. With the Romanovs we see the usual, simple discussion about the assassinations, the possible haemophilia and not much else.
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Old 07-08-2012, 08:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lumutqueen View Post
1 - "Queen Elizabeth II is the starting point for any discussion of Western Monarchy - and not only because she is Europe's longest reigning Monarch", ...Louis XIV, King of France was Europe's longest reigning monarch.
2 - "While Queen Elizabeth has had to contend with the odd intruder in the palace, there have been no attempts on her life" I assume he doesn't include Marcus Sarjeant who fired 6 blank shots at The Queen during the 1981 Trooping.
The reference to Elizabeth II as "Europe's longest reigning monarch" if read in context and in the present tense is perfectly correct. Just as the expression "Europe's most eligible royal princesses" would, in the minds of most people, refer to contemporary princesses and not princesses over the past 1,100-odd years. Similarly, a listing of "The World's Richest Royals" quite obviously refers to contemporary royals and not royals dating back to antiquity.

A more precise and correct description for the reign of Louis XIV would be "The longest reigning monarch in European history."

It's arguable whether the firing of BLANK shots could be considered "an attempt on her life" so the author is more than likely correct on this point.
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Old 07-08-2012, 10:12 AM
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I actually rather enjoyed the book.
It's not,as I had hoped, an in-depth study of royal families and their roles in their respective countries, but it does give a pretty sound background information, which is very important for someone like me, who is reasonably new to the work of royalty (apart from genealogy, titles and styles aspect).

All in all, I would say it's a great book for beginners, but not necessarily for those who have in-depth (or reasonably good) knowledge of royal families.
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Old 01-21-2013, 01:11 PM
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Here's my review. I thought Conradi's book was an excellent introduction to the continental European royal houses that receive little attention in the English language media.

The Great Survivors: How Monarchy Made It Into the Twenty-First Century by Peter Conradi (Review) | Carolyn Harris: Royal Historian
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