On Hist Fic Saturday
Let's go back to ...Victorian England
7 June 2018
My thanks to the publishers and Animate Communications for my copy of this book
Prince Albert Victor, known as Eddy, is the grandson of Queen Victoria, and the heir presumptive to the British throne. Eddy is a quiet and sensitive soul, often overshadowed by his more rambunctious younger brother, George, and completely at odds with his philandering father, Bertie. Never quite sure of his place in the world but with the weight of future responsibility lying heavily on his young shoulders Eddy finds the strength of purpose he needs in his relationship with the man appointed as his tutor at Eton. The charismatic, Jem Stephens, is everything that Eddy strives, and wants to be, and yet, this close relationship is also filled with a powerful sense of destiny.
Moving between locations in London and Norfolk, the world of the nineteenth century aristocrat is brought sharply into focus. As a young man, Eddy moves, almost aimlessly, amongst society, and as he struggles to come to terms with his sexuality, so society eventually starts to dictate how Eddy should behave. His entrée into the clandestine world of Victorian homosexuality is explored in some detail where it is debatable whether any of the, sometimes sordid, relationships he embarked upon brought him any degree of happiness.
The Prince of Mirrors is an interesting combination of weaving together a fictional tale alongside what is known in history. Of course, there is speculation about Prince Albert Victor, as some of the more lurid gossip of the time tried, and it must be said, failed to pin the Whitechapel murders, more associated with Jack the Ripper, on Prince Eddy. That the Prince moved in the secretive world of homosexual London is also the subject of conjecture, however, his close association with Jem Stephens is certainly based on factual evidence.
The author succeeds in bringing into focus the vagaries of Victorian morals whilst at the same time bringing this rather forlorn Prince to life and although there were times when I felt that the story appeared a little disjointed in places, overall this didn’t detract from my enjoyment in reading, and learning more about, Prince Albert Victor, The Prince of Mirrors.
Alan Robert Clark was born and educated in Scotland. He briefly attended King's College in London, before starting his career as a copywriter and creative director with a number of leading London advertising agencies. With a background in journalism, Alan has ghost written and co-authored a number of biographies and has one previous novel. Alan now works as a freelance writer.