King Edward VII: A Biography - Vol. 1

King Edward VII: A Biography - Vol. 1

King Edward VII: A Biography - Vol. 1

King Edward VII: A Biography - Vol. 1

Excerpt

It is at the request of King George V., King Edward VII.'s son, that this biography has been undertaken.

The work, while it incorporates much information which has already been published, is based on documents in the royal archives to which King George has given me access, and on numerous collections of letters addressed by the late King to personal friends and to men of prominence in official life, which I have consulted with His Majesty's sanction. His Majesty has also permitted the reproduction in facsimile of the two specimens of the late King's handwriting which appear in this volume and illustrate the marked change in its character in the course of forty years.

Beyond this assistance King George is in no way responsible for the book. For its plan and execution, to which I have devoted four years of thought and labour, I am alone responsible. I have pursued to the best of my ability the lines which my previous experience as a biographer dictated. I have sought to give practical application to principles which I defined twelve years ago in these terms: "Biography is of no genuine account unless it make for thoroughness and accuracy of statement, for an equitable valuation of human effort, and above all for honest independence of judgement."

My account of Kaiser William II.'s character and conduct is my own unaided interpretation of tested evidence drawn from very varied sources both published and unpublished. The co-ordination of the pièces justificatives in chronological order renders imperative, I believe, the conclusions which I have reached.

In the case of a great historic figure like King Edward VII., no less than in that of one of smaller prominence in the world's affairs, sympathy with one's theme is essential to . . .

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