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‘An exceptional study, which fascinates, entertain, and illuminates.’ The New Yorker
Through half a century of public service King Edward had the advantage of a private secretary whose tact, judgement, loyalty and affection never failed him. Francis Knollys was one of that small intimate circle from whom he had no secrets, personal or political. Previous biographers of the King have lamented the too perfect discretion that led Knollys to destroy all his papers on his master’s death, but in fact his discretion outreached even its own reputation. The Knollys Papers were preserved with the perfect secrecy that their creator practised in the discharge of his office, but were put at the disposal of the author, enabling him to extend and deepen the commonly held portrait of a man whose physical grossness has, as in the case of the Prince Regent, been allowed to obscure both a keen intelligence and a serious even conscientious pursuit of duty. King Edward is here shown to have deserved the deep affection and respect felt for him by his private secretary.
‘In Edward VII Giles St Aubyn has splendidly filled the gap between hagiography and muck-raking … one of the most elegant yet solidly-founded studies so far produced of this splendid monarch.’. Sunday Telegraph
‘This book has delighted me by its good judgement of character and its pungency, as well as by the important new material it includes.’ Raymond Mortimer
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