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Hector Bolitho's biography of Prince Albert first appeared in 1932 under the title, Albert the Good. he now presents a rewritten version, with its title altered to suit the times. His free-flowing style may be appropriate to both eras, but the comfortable assumption of omniscience is alien to the biographer of the '60's. So too, one might add, is the altogether generous, admiring attitude toward his subject. The author sees the spouse of Queen Victoria as her chief guide, who in his marital relationship acted as a ""patient, wise saint,"" who in public life had an influence on all the matters of the day that were of import to England. He is also seen as ""quietly estranging the monarchy from the aloof aristocracy and creating an image of the Queen more real to the middle and lower classes."" He was more taken up with statesmanship than fatherhood, except perhaps for his closeness to his eldest daughter Vicky, whose marriage and remove to Prussia left him lonely (""The adoration of his wife and her obedience to his superior mind did not fill all his needs""). He died when Victoria was forty-one, leaving her to carry on the life he did not cling to. An attractive portrait, but following in the wake of Elizabeth Longford's Queen Victoria: Born to Succeed (see p. 1094, 1964), this study, with its dated innocence, will scarcely cause a ripple.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1965
Publisher: Bobbs-Merrill