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This is the entertaining biography of Edward VII and his playboy lifestyle, by Stephen Clarke, author of 1000 Years of Anying the French and A Year in the Merde. Despite fierce opposition from his mother, Queen Victoria, Edward VII was always passionately in love with France. He had affairs with the most famous Parisian actresses, courtesans and can-can dancers. He spoke French more elegantly than English. He was the first ever guest to climb the Eiffel Tower with Gustave Eiffel, in defiance of an official English ban on his visit. He turned his French seduction skills into the diplomatic prowess that sealed the Entente Cordiale. A quintessentially English king? Pas du tout! Stephen Clarke argues that as 'Dirty Bertie', Edward learned all the essentials in life from the French.
Stephen Clarke lives in France, where he divides his time between writing and not writing. His first novel, A Year in the Merde, originally became a word-of-mouth hit in Paris in 2004, and is now published all over the world. Since then he has published four more Merde novels, as well as Talk to the Snail, an indispensable guide to understanding the French, Paris Revealed, his insider's guide to his home city, and 1000 Years of Annoying the French, in which he investigates what has really been going on since 1066. A Sunday Times bestseller in hardcover, 1000 Years of Annoying the French went on to become one of the top ten bestselling history books in paperback in 2011. Research for Stephen's books has taken him all over France. For Dirty Bertie he delved into French archives to hunt out nineteenth-century newspapers and kiss-and-tell autobiographies. He also visited the venues of Bertie's French escapades, from grand chateaux to dingy cabarets. He has now returned to present-day Paris, and is doing his best to live the Entente Cordiale.