Tanya's Reviews > The Golden Prince

The Golden Prince by Rebecca Dean
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's review
Dec 20, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: first-reads, historical-fiction, i-own-it
Read from January 12 to 14, 2011

Yep, another first reads win!

Looking at this book purely as a work of fiction, I greatly enjoyed it. Each of the Houghton sisters had her own unique and intriguing personality, and I found myself rooting for every one of them. The plot moved swiftly and I repeatedly read "just one more chapter."

However...Edward VIII was a real person, and I have issues with inserting an entirely fictional romance into his life, especially one that was written to be so life-changing. "The Golden Prince" contains enough real details about Prince Edward, King George and Queen Mary, the political figures of the day, and foreign royal houses to make the reader forget most of the book is made up. In the preface Dean explains that the young Edward did fall in love and want to marry a non-royal (decades before his abdication to marry Wallis Simpson), but the true circumstances were entirely different from Dean's fictional account. A part of me feels she shouldn't have written this book at all, but should have done some original historical research and written about Edward's real romance. Certainly making a story up out of whole cloth is the easy way out. But... another part of me enjoyed the fictionalized novel so much that I'm glad she wrote it. What can I say, the academic and the romantic in me can't see eye to eye on this one!

SPOILER ALERT! Okay, this has been bugging me and I feel the need to add that Dean reveals her lack of deep research when she has Lily and Rory calling banns for their marriage, then worrying that during those 3 weeks Edward would somehow hear of their upcoming nuptials. People of wealth were much more likely to marry by license, which required no waiting period, but required a fee. This was particularly the case with a pregnant bride. Writing in a calling of banns seems an attempt to show a little knowledge of British customs, but in the end reveals how shallow that knowledge actually is.

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