11 June, 2008

Fat, Bald, and Worthless

Fat, Bald and Worthless
by
Robert Easton


Light reading, for the average reader who picks up the book just on the basis of the title. Not, in other words, to be taken as a final source for research results, though an excellent place to start such hypothetical research, because it has, amongst fifty pages of end matter, ten small print pages of bibliography.

I really make no comment on the accuracy of the stories Easton gives; some of them seem a bit dubious, and in some cases he strives for a cuteness not really suited to a history book (see, for example, “John the Wizard”, who “simply lacked the magic needed to prevent his homeland from tumbling into vassalage after his death”). A second point which i shall comment upon, is the questionable names some of the subjects are given: I don’t suppose that i have read everything, nor do i imagine that i am aware of all the many and varied names given the nobles of Europe; i do think, however, that it is surprising that i haven’t ever heard of a British monarch’s primary nickname, and yet that is the case with Edward the Caresser ~ the admittedly appropriate name Easton gives Edward VII. “Tum Tum”, Bertie, “the Uncle of Europe”, Edward the Peacemaker ~ all these i have heard or read previously; but the caresser? I wonder to myself where Easton found it?  It didn't even turn up in the biography i had previously read. And, curiuosly, the very next name is another Edward, “Edward Carnarvon”, to whom i have always given a medial “of”, a minor point, to be sure, but odd.

These caveats aside, i did enjoy the book, and would certainly keep it for light reading, and a good bibliographical source.

2 comments:

Jolene said...

Hey How are u? long time no talk! I only have 7 weeks left and our little boy will be here! I cant wait! I will be homeschooling this yr! Really excited about it! Just scared to tell Dons side of the family. But Don told me not to worry about it and just tell them they are my kids and I'll do what I think is best! Blah! What else...Quit my second fulltime job, couldnt really take it anymore. TTYS..Im on vacation most of july, give me a buzz over the messanger!
JOlene

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