THE UNRULY QUEEN

THE LIFE OF QUEEN CAROLINE

Lost in a morass of endless, unfocused detail lies the dramatic story of Caroline, the Princess of Wales, whose marital strife and mass popularity rival that of Princess Di. The life of Queen Caroline (17681821), filled as it was with private and public scandal, despair, and drama, is certainly a subject worthy of a modern biographer. Born a Brunswick princess, she was paired off with her cousin George, Prince of Wales, in 1795, in what was from the start an insufferable marriage. Not only were the two ill-matched (he was fastidious and claimed that she smelled), but George also brought with him the scandal of a possible previous marriage. Add to the mix George's sundry lovers and the punitive restrictions on his wife's personal freedom, and the marriage was doomed to spectacular conflict. Within weeks the two were living apart, although they managed to produce a child, Princess Charlotte. Caroline, portrayed by Fraser (Emma, Lady Hamilton, 1987) as more the spirited fighter than the submissive victim, creates her own world, one that includes numerous scandals, romantic liaisons, and continental travel. An amalgam of the three (extensive residence in Italy in the company of an Italian lover once in her service) finally brings about her undoing but also garners her public support. The current royal family's annus horibilis appears tame in comparison to the year 1820 in the life of Queen Caroline: She is tried for adultery and, though acquitted, is subsequently denied admission to the coronation of her husband, King George IV. She dies soon after. How could you go wrong with such material? Alas, Fraser snatches defeat from the jaws of victory. Vast masses of detail clutter a narrative that lacks a framework and focus. ClichÇs make tiresome reading even more disheartening. Still, for the reader willing to toil through the text, this offers a valuable perspective on the past and present drama of British royal families. (16 pages color photos, not seen)

Pub Date: May 14, 1996

ISBN: 0-394-56146-5

Page Count: 560

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 1996

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

A LIFETIME OF RECORDINGS

Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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