Prince Charles

Prince Charles

The Passions and Paradoxes of An Improbable Life

Large Print - 2017 | Large print edition.
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A New York Times Bestselling AuthorFrom the author of Elizabeth the Queen comes an illuminating and revelatory new biography of the man who has waited his whole life to be king. The first major biography of Prince Charles in over twenty years brings to life the real man, drawing on extensive access to his inner circle and filled with new insights into his family and his two marriages.
Publisher: Waterville, Maine : Thorndike Press, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning, 2017.
Edition: Large print edition.
ISBN: 9781410498533
Branch Call Number: Large Print 941.085092 Charl-S
Characteristics: 973 pages (large print) : illustrations, map ; 23 cm.
large print.


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Jun 18, 2018

Living a life overshadowed by his mum the Queen and various other relations, frequently maligned and perhaps misunderstood, Prince Charles gets his turn in the spotlight. This biography provides insight into what it must have been like for a sensitive, shy boy to grow up with largely disengaged parents and a father whose misguided philosophy was that the harsher the schooling, the tougher Charles would become. It helps to build sympathy for a man who would receive so much criticism in later years, for clinging to the one "unsuitable" woman who made him happy, and breaking the heart of another, hastily chosen to fulfill the antiquated royal requirements of marriage forced upon him by his parents. Overall a generally even-handed presentation of the facts of Charles' life, although I felt that Princess Diana was treated rather harshly throughout the book. An interesting read.

Jan 05, 2018

I was never particularly a fan of Mr. Prince of Wales, especially during the Diana era, and I'm still not, frankly.
But watching the Netflix series "The Crown" has altered my perception of Charles a bit; privileged though he is, he didn't exactly win the Best Parents sweepstakes. (If Matt Smith's portrayal of Prince Phillip has any accuracy at all, the Duke of Edinburgh has been revealed as a philandering husband and an unfeeling bastard of a father.)

Aug 23, 2017

Very interesting reading, with a good distribution of childhood, the "Diana years," and more recent material. I thought the author did a fine job of balancing the man's good and the weak characteristics. I have a new sympathy for Charles, while still raising my eyebrows over much of what he stands for.

Jun 27, 2017

As the newest biography on Prince Charles, it was just what I needed to catch up on his life for the last years. Needless to say, I only read the last half of the book. :)

ArapahoeKati Jun 13, 2017

Here's the thing: I'm a bit of an Anglophile so this was right up my alley. But if felt like the author lost her steam about 2/3 in and was just reciting facts and timelines, which made it a dry read. Also, not very much on his childhood.

Jun 08, 2017

An excellent and very up-to-date review of Charles' life - which has definitely been an interesting one! What I really enjoy with this author is that she presents the facts in a very readable and easily-followed manner, while not taking sides herself. She just simply tells it like it is and lets the reader make their own judgments.

May 14, 2017

After writing biographies of his mother and former wife, Sally Bedell Smith turns her eye to the future king, taking a look at his life so far.

As a contemporary and longtime ‘royal watcher’ I found this interesting and largely sympathetic. Amazed at his efforts to raise money for his charities and some of the causes he has championed. Despite that public life, he seems a very private man. What a long shadow he has walked in all these years.

May 04, 2017

If you know nothing about Charles, this is a good book to read. This was not an authorized biography but the author did have access to several good sources. The book tries to make sense of his marriage to Diana while explaining the attraction between him and Camilla. The author clearly shows how avant-gardiste Charles was and that he should be a good King. We also discover that he was a good father to Harry and a William. Interesting.

Apr 25, 2017

For me, an amateur British Royal Family aficionado for over 30 years, the first 100 pages of this very long book was interesting, but slogged down at about 150 pages. I'm not critical of Sally Bedell Smith - she's an amazing researcher and writer, but the extremely detailed story of Prince Charles didn't hold my attention. I guess I'm not the big fan of the Royals that I thought I was after all.

Jan 21, 2017

Although normally not a fan of any royal family [none should exist today, I believe], I confess to finding this specific royal interesting: anyone who has gone through military training in all branches of the armed forces is a cut above [having served in two military branches in America, I have an idea of what I'm talking about]. Might be an interesting read . . . .

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