Book Review – The Mountbattens: Their Lives and Loves by Andrew Lownie
A brand new shiny royal biography of a marriage so controversial yet so successful. A marriage where both the parties kept fleeing each other into other peoples’ beds and still lead a respectful life. This biography included everything, warts and all! From controversial lovers to desperate attempts to hush up scandals to public embarrassments, they had seen it all, together. The Mountbattens, might seem promiscuous and extremely careless from the outside but in contrast were quite hard working.
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Dickie’s scientific and mathematical tendencies coloured me impressed along with Edwina’s dedication to learn household chores and her passion for reading. Their childhood, all explained so vividly, made me long to hop on a time machine and witness the entire thing with my own eyes.
Andrew used letters, journals, diaries and innumerable interviews and accounts of people in and around The Mountbattens’ circle and the result was this conversational type biography, which had a thick section of valid citations. This book had me hooked, and still I took it slowly and did not pace it at all. I simmered through it, soaking it all up in. Their traumas, to issues in their marriage to how they came into terms to their term in India to their philanthropic works and Dickie’s questionable sexuality.
This book also gives an insight on the political situation in Britain within the royal family from a whole new perspective which was quite fresh for me. The text might seem repetitive after quite some time, but the ample pictures from their personal lives, will keep you hooked and get you back on track. An avid biography reader would appreciate the efforts where the many lives and many lovers of Edwina and Dickie have been discussed, though I felt that most of the lives discussed were of Dickie and lovers, Edwina. At times the monotony of the loves did bore me, but still, the research and the work done by the author is commendable and this piece of literary work will always remain an integral part of human history where a glorified yet looked down upon couple would continue to live forever.