The Prince And The Lily book by James Brough

The Prince And The Lily book by James Brough

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Spanning three continents and two eras, here is the story of the love affair between the playboy Prince of Wales, Edward VII, and Lilly Langtry, the greatest international beauty of her day. Together they set a new standard of splendor and sensuality for an entire era-the golden Edwardian Age.

He was "Bertie," Prince of Wales, a connoisseur of wine, haute cuisine, fast horses, and beautiful women-a man with a gigantic appetite for life and power. She was "the Jersey Lily," a country girl from the Isle of Jersey, chafing in a marriage of convenience to an Irish provincial and ambitious to scale the heights of London society at whatever price.

Their conjunction was virtually inevitable, and their affair, played out over three decades, set the very unbuttoned tone of London society, released by the Prince, the Lily, and the Marlborough House set from the long, bleak, mourning-clad winter of Victorian respectability.

Lillie's campaign plan was as artfully calculated as it was traditional to the "professional beauties" who were her rivals. She had all the prerequisites: a classical beauty bound to captivate the reigning "esthete's," an air of unawakened sensuality that made her possible seduction the subject of ribald gossip over baccarat at White's and the Marlborough Club-and a complaisant husband.

Lille was an overnight sensation-Oscar Wilde hailed her "the new Helen," John Everett Millais painted her and first drew the princes eye to her Grecian beauty, Gladstone used to go around and read Shakespeare to her, George Francis Miles sketched her in charcoal, making her likeness, sold for pennies, the household goddess of thousands.

Lillie's triumph was as spectacular as her fall was precipitous. Celebrity and reckless extravagance as the princes first acknowledged mistress was clouded by a sordid libel suit her husband's departure, her bankruptcy, and her pregnancy by Bertie's trusted friend and nephew, Prince Louis Battenberg. But the remarkable, remarkably resilient "Jersey Lily" launched a new theatrical career that took her across the Atlantic and found her hobnobbing with Astors, Jeromes, and Vanderbilts and taming the Wild West-and "Judge" Roy Bean with it-on triumphal tour.

More than a celebration of a great beauty...more than a spellbinding story of a spirited monarch, THE PRINCE AND THE LILY is a love story that burned as bright as the Edwardian era it inaugurated. alive with all the pageantry and personalities of an extraordinarily splendid time and with a sweep and grandeur that suggest the inexorable play of historic forces on the individual destiny, THE PRINCE AND THE LILY is a major biography at its brilliant best.

 

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Book details

  • Hardcover
  • 360 pages
  • English
  • 0345284771
  • 9780345284778

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