THE PRINCE AND THE LILY by James Brough

THE PRINCE AND THE LILY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Brough, who has elbowed into more than one family closet (he did the scurrilous Roosevelt book with Elliott), is, in a sense, the ideal biographer of that most splendid bloom of England's gilded age, Lily Langtry. Brough is a master of satisfying gossip -- filled with dramatic tableaus, and with decorative but never lengthy digressions. ""A day like this was bound to come sooner or later,"" he begins -- that day being when ""Lillie"" Le Breton from the island of Jersey learns that her first love is also her father's bastard. From then on the extraordinarily beautiful girl rose like a champagne bubble. First, she was wed to Edward Langtry, who owned a yacht she coveted; then on to London, the unfortunate Edward in tow, to conquer Society, accomplished handily in simple black and a luminous contralto. Among the courtiers -- Whistler, Wilde, even Gladstone and others -- came inevitably Berrie, the Prince of Wales. But it was Bertie's nephew Louis who sired her daughter. Lily's series of triumphal processions, in England and America, her several affairs, her grand lifestyle, royal scandals, and some pacesetting innovations in public relations, are given luxuriant coverage. Great fun in a rich Sunday brunch style just right for the subject.

Pub Date: Feb. 25th, 1974
Publisher: Coward, McCann & Geoghegan