Dirty Bertie by Stephen Clarke

Dirty Bertie by Stephen Clarke – an English king made in France is the latest book by Stephen Clarke I read. You can see at the end of the post links to other reviews of his books.
This one wasn’t as good as the others, as his jokes were not always as good as they could be. Also, he went on and on about Edward’s romantic conquests, with a lot of details, too many if you ask me. Bertie was a complex man, but the book focuses too much on one side of his life, while neglecting others.
On top of that he mentioned his best known book, 1000 Years of Annoying the French, a bit too often. I imagine everybody who gets this book, also knows about the 1000 years and either they already read it or they want to read it in the future.

Dirty Bertie by Stephen Clarke

Besides these two things, the book is very interesting. I learned a lot from it. For example, I was not aware of how involved was Edward in the preparations for the Paris exhibition of 1878, working hard for two years. He was also involved in charity work, was against racism, anti-Semitism.

Edward and Alexandra were the first guests to climb the Eiffel Tower, and be given a tour by Gustave Eiffel, despite a ban on official visits. He was such a great diplomat that is a shame he is not presented better in history books.

Dirty Bertie by Stephen Clarke

Details about the picture: a homemade choux, filled with custard and covered with dark chocolate, a homage to French desserts
My rating: 4/5 Stars
Would I recommend it: yes
Published by: Century, part of Penguin Random House
Year it was published: 2014
Format: Hardcover
Genre(s): Biography
Pages: 386

About the author: The way he describes himself on his website is fun, so this is a small extract:
“I grew up in Bournemouth, where I played bass in some of the worst rock bands in musical history before leaving town to study French and German at Oxford.
After university, I got a series of high-powered jobs – in the wine industry (grape picking), tertiary sector (washing up in a German hotel), and in international diplomacy (teaching English to bored French businessmen).
As soon as I heard about the possibility of a French 35-hour week, I moved to Paris and got a job as a journalist on an English-language magazine.
I also do my bit for the non-fiction side of Anglo-French relations. There’s Talk to the Snail, a little book that tries to describe French society according to ten “commandments”.”
Books by Stephen Clarke: 1000 Years of Annoying the French; Dirty Bertie; How the French Won Waterloo (or Think They Did); The French Revolution and What Went Wrong.
Website & Social Media Links: stephenclarkewriter

3 thoughts on “Dirty Bertie by Stephen Clarke”

  • I think quite a few biographies and fiction books centre on Bertie’s amorous life, rather than his diplomatic achievements. Many years ago there was a series called Kings and Queens, and there was a biography of Edward VII, which I read then but don’t remember much.
    I would also be annoyed a bit if the author tried to plug in his other book in the text.
    And your choux bun looks so tempting.

  • Too bad this one wasn’t quite as good as his earlier books. I have the one about annoying the French on my wish list.

    • It is still a good book, that I would recommend. With less jokes it would have been a 5 stars, raving-about book, and it is a bit annoying it was not.

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