Julian Fellowes

Louis XVIII’s Long-Lost Son is Found!

The Grimaldis of Monaco: Centuries of Scandal, Years of Grace

By

(HarperCollins 268pp £20) order from our bookshop

It is Anne Edwards’s contention that Grace Kelly arrived just in time to save the House of Grimaldi.

The same could be said of this book.

She delays the hard part by opening with a chapter on the tragic death of Stefano Casiraghi, the husband of Princess Caroline. The Princess was apparently told the terrible news at the hairdresser’s by her friend Inès de la Fressange who, according to Edwards, ‘suddenly appeared, her almond-shaped eyes even darker than usual. Nervously she began to speak’. How can Ms Edwards know this? Was she doing Princess Caroline’s hair? How nervous is ‘nervously’? And how dark are Inès’s almond eyes as a general rule? From this breathless trivialising one may correctly gather that Edwards is less a historian than a collector of facts as a loose framework on which a colourful narrative may be draped.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • 'At this frankly apocalyptic moment for indigenous rights in Brazil, John Hemming’s "People of the Rainforest" is a… ,
    • 'I was dumbfounded by the view of the Berlin Wall from the eastern side. It seemed inconceivable that in under thre… ,
    • RT : Danger for ‘local’ staff, access in exchange for silence (and logos) - all sounds familiar in this fascinating look… ,
    • 'He has long been eclipsed by Vermeer, though his interiors are arguably more ambitious.' David Gelber on the Dutc… ,
    • 'The wicked are truly revolting and the rage is wholly understandable' on new thrillers by John Le… ,
    • In @aaciman's sequel to 'Call Me By Your Name', 'Erotic urgency has merged with middle age’s frugality of heart', s… ,
    • 'The repression of free speech in Uganda is common. Reporters Without Borders’ 2019 Press Freedom Index ranks Ugand… ,