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October 1964

King Edward the Seventh.

Arch Intern Med. 1964;114(4):562-563. doi:10.1001/archinte.1964.03860100144025

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No, there is no gore. Victoria's death occurs in less than a paragraph. Edward's appendectomy and Frederick III's laryngeal cancer are given scarce more space. The radium treatment of an ulcer on Edward's nose is dismissed in a sentence, and the King's pulmonary troubles, which sound a bit "Pickwickian," get minimal coverage. This a biography for the physician without such things.

As a novel alone it would be superb. One becomes fiercely partisan to Edward, the Prince of Wales, and, in full recognition of the futility, hopes the author will arrange things so that Victoria will abdicate. The Prince Hal metamorphosis beguiles in spite of its hoariness. The blended intrigue and panache breed a delicious privy sense of the inevitable doom of a prematurely senile generation. What makes King Edward a classic in biography is the account of a personality maturing against this background.

Albert Edward, the heir-apparent, was born

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