Talk:Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence and Avondale

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Second in Line of Succession "after Queen Victoria"[edit]

This is wrong, Prince Albert Victor was indeed 2nd in the line of succession but not "after Queen Victoria", since Victoria was the monarch at the time she can't have been in the line of succession to herself! He was second in succession after his father only.


Does anyone know how tall Albert Victor was? He was short and slight. I think 5'4" or 5'5". Don't remember where I read that though. His father was only 5'7", his mother was about 5'6". (talk) 17:44, 4 June 2014 (UTC)

Was Eddy of Low Intelligence[edit]

In the Education section, it seems to suggest that Prince Eddy was educationally deficient. I have attempted to show some balance by making it clear that this idea is contentious. My revision was undone because it was mentioned later on in the article. However, I would argue that it is more important to mention it during the actual subject than as a footnote as not to relegate the opposite view (that it was Dalton's character and abilities at fault rather than the Prince's) as being an insubstantial argument. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Tynmar66 (talkcontribs) 20:11, 18 November 2013 (UTC)

Opinions on his intellect are called speculation in the lead; the opposing views are given in the first paragraph of the "Education" section itself and are reiterated in the "Legacy" section. Neither is relegated to a footnote. The opposing views on Albert Victor's abilities are again reiterated in the final paragraph of the Education section. We must give due weight to each of the views, but there are more sources (such as Nicolson, Pope-Hennessy, etc.) giving poor opinions of his intellect than there are giving good ones (basically Cook). And Nicolson and Pope-Hennessy are more widely known and used and more notable than Cook. The article is not imbalanced and both views are represented with due weight. DrKiernan (talk) 20:27, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
However, as far as I can see Nicholson and Hennesy only mention Eddy in passing as part of works about someone else? They cannot therefore have spent as much time on researching Eddy? Also, being an official biographer imposes restrictions as well as opportunities about included material. Sandpiper (talk) 00:43, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

I see. So are we saying until there are enough revisionists to add weight to the argument, people who only read the education section will be given the idea that he had low intellect because, for years it has perhaps been politically expedient to view King George as the better candidate for the monarchy? However, having said that, I think that the article would be less imbalanced if the medical reasons for his supposed problems of intellect were removed. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Tynmar66 (talkcontribs) 20:39, 18 November 2013 (UTC)

I suggest a middle path of adding a clause for Dalton's lack of inspiration and cutting a clause on mental vacuity: viz. the final sentence of the first paragraph to read: "Possible physical explanations for Albert Victor's inattention or indolence in class include absence seizures or his premature birth, which can be associated with learning difficulties,[1] but Lady Geraldine Somerset blamed Albert Victor's poor education on Dalton, whom she considered uninspiring.[2]" DrKiernan (talk) 20:58, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
I would argue that the term "intellect" is old-fashioned and not in current use, and should be replaced with a term such as "intellectual abilities". Totorotroll (talk) 21:59, 8 January 2014 (UTC)

Time at university[edit]

I was just reading Queen Mary by David Duff, where at the appropriate time in her life the author mentions prince Albert as possible suitor. He there remarks on Albert's unsuitablity to be anyones husband, and amongst other thing notes that Albert was removed from Cambridge by his father "in a rage" because "strange rumours began to float about regarding his goings on there", and in particular because of a punch cartoon published 24 November 1883 where "Eddy was shown on a balcony, two undergraduates looking up at him. One says isn't it beautiful? The other adds, 'Too lovely to look at'. The inference was obvious". Is this in fact why he was removed from Cambridge?

Dalton seems to have been a questionable role model if heterosexual probity was valued, he seems to have delighted in the company of naval cadets, took home a sailor as his personal servant for the rest of his life and obtained an arranged marriage bride from one of his young acquaintances. Now I read Eddy had a second questionable tutor, James Stephen, who seems to have himself died of some mental instability brought on by news of Eddy's death. One must wonder how Stephen came to have this job?

Duff quotes a magazine 'Truth' 25 December 1890, which published an imagined interview with Eddy following his tour of India, which suggests an extreme interest in a laundryman from Shuttadore. This is described as fiction, but plainly is evidence of public debate on his sexuality. It isnt quite clear from Duff whether there might have been some facts behind this, but he goes on to suggest that the phrase 'Shut that door', with camp connotations, stems from this article and remained in the public consciousness for a century.

Duff also refers to one of Eddy's tutors as saying "He hardly knows the meaning of the words to read". The article quotes a tutor as saying he learnt by listening rather than reading, which isnt quite the same thing. Being, for example, dyslexic, could well explain his failure to learn as it has for many other intelligent people. I notice the article suggests a number of possible explanations for his failure at academic studies but not this one. I also got no real explanation aside from his appearing uneducated and showing apparent indolence, whether he in fact appeared stupid or intelligent to other. I havnt read it, but I notice a comment above alludes to the Cook biography's view on this, where the Guardian disputes what it presumably suggests that he was a "radical free thinker, compassionate, able and progressive"

The question of how he came to be attending Trinity at all similarly does not seem to be addressed. While this might be purely down to patronage, it does suggest that someone thought him capable of benefiting educationally from being there. Sandpiper (talk) 05:37, 26 August 2014 (UTC)

Cleveland street brothel[edit]

Hmm. The article says " the rumours and cover-up has led some biographers to speculate that he did visit Cleveland Street,[35" which is referenced to aronson p.170. What Aronson actually says on that page is "reading this correspondence (some of which was destroyed), there can be little doubt Prince eddy did visit the Cleveland Street brothel, and that the prince of wales entourage were desperate to quash the rumours of his involvement, not because they were false but because they were true." Now, it could be argued that Aronson is speculating, but in fact suggesting that is speculation by whoever wrote the text on this page. Aronson stated be believes it to be true. By contrast, the article continues " The historian H. Montgomery Hyde wrote, "There is no evidence that he was homosexual, or even bisexual."[38]". ie, wiki implies hyde is correct, and Aronson wrong. this strikes as POV handling of the two different views.Sandpiper (talk) 23:01, 8 September 2014 (UTC)

Later the article cites a letter to Lord Esher from Somerset. I changed the article because it did not correctly paraphrase that text. The two source books being referred to, Aronson and Cook, cite the letter but do not quote it in full, so hard to say what it does say in its entirety. However, from the excerpts included a conclusion is drawn that since Somerset wonders " if it is really a fact or only an invention of that arch ruffian H[ammond]", that Somerset's source of information was in fact Hammond and not direct knowledge of events he had witnessed. He does claim to have specific knowledge from somewhere. It is not clear in context whether this might be directly from Hammond to Somerset, or indirectly via his lawyer Newton, who is being talked about in the letter re what he might reveal if he is cornered. Thus I inserted 'certain people', because while it is more than hearing a general rumour, and the information would seem to have come from Hammond, it is not certain he heard it directly from Hammond rather than Newton (or indeed someone else not mentioned). He does appear to have heard the general rumours in society, and I think mentions this in another letter excerpt, so I also left in that he mentions hearing rumours. However his specific source of information is clearly more than just a rumour doing the rounds of society, because he refers specifically to Hammond. He does not state directly his source is Hammond, and thus I changed 'denies' to 'implies not'. He does not deny knowing anything directly, this is merely a deduction drawn by the book's author. Of course, there is no guarantee he is telling the truth in what he wrote, but that issue does not seem to come up in the sources. One does mention that some letters have been destroyed, which might imply they had the most sensitive references and that these went further than whatever we have available. Cook states boldly that Somerset must have had the information from Newton rather than Hammond, but I did not see any explanation of why he believes Somerset could not have had the information directly from Hammond, the keeper of the brothel he admitted frequenting. Incidentally, there seems to have been some sort of record book which the police impounded but which mysteriously disappeared. Someone might have used this as a source of information. (sorry thats a bit complicated)Sandpiper (talk) 23:27, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

In your own words, it is "a deduction drawn by the book's author". Your own deductions are irrelevant. This isn't the place to publish your personal opinions. DrKiernan (talk) 06:59, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Sorry, but I don't really understand what you are saying. All books report the deductions drawn by the author. Authors do research and report their findings. We at wikipedia report what they have concluded. Thats how it works. Aronson concluded Eddy was homosexual and went to Cleveland stret. So that is what we say. If you report this in a way as to imply Aronson is wrong, then it is you who are speculating and posting your own opinions, which is what is not allowed on wiki. The article ought to be written saying author 1 says this while author2 says that, but cannot be written as author 1 speculates this while author2 has proved the other.Sandpiper (talk) 08:01, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
It is. DrKiernan (talk) 09:52, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
No, unfortunately it is not, and I explained why above.Sandpiper (talk) 06:13, 18 September 2014 (UTC)

I am also a little bothered by the fact we mention one historian by name, H montgomery Hyde, for no obvious reason. Wikipedia is not an advertising board for authors and publishers. Sandpiper (talk) 08:13, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

Aronson, Harrison, Magnus, Cook, Pope-Hennessy, and Nicolson, are all mentioned by name. Hyde is one among many, and is given no more prominence than any of the others. DrKiernan (talk) 09:51, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Not in the section I was editing, they are not. It is a very disturbing trend that wiki is increasingly becoming a highly selective board for staging a debate betweeen certain selected sources. I have no doubt the people named are not the only people to have written about this, just the ones which happened to be available at the time. Why name any of them in the text? I see someone likes to use selective disparagement to ridicule Aronson, too. tut. Sandpiper (talk) 23:36, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
I have read Aronson and am working through Cook. Its quite fascinating to note the total opposite positions they take on certain things. For example, Cook says, about Eddy's time in the army, "If his horsemanship had been elegant before, he must have cut a fine figure after this"...."He had no difficulty mastering the other military skills of an officer". " the army, Eddy learned without difficulty" (p.123.) Whereas Aronson says "Prince Eddy showed himself no more of a soldier than a scholar".... "neither at Aldershot, nor at York, nor at the Curragh near Dublin, did Prince Eddy show much interest in soldiering." (p.76-77). "Once his first six months of training were over, prince Eddy seems to have spent almost as much time away from his regiment as with it" (p.78). "His son's continuing backwardness annoyed the Prince of Wales considerably. Prince Eddy's remaining in the Army, he sighed on one occasion, was 'simply a waste of time-and he has not that knowledge even of military subjects which he ought to possess'". (p.78, reffed to pope-hennesy, who both cook and Aronson also quote as Eddy saying he disliked riding training)
Cook remarks that the Duke of Cambridge was shocked by Eddy's lack of knowledge about military matters before he joined the army.(p.123) Aronson remarks Cambridge was asked by the regimental colonel not to ask Eddy to carry out some 'elementary movement' while cambridge was visiting and Eddy was training at Aldershot, because Eddy would have 'not an idea how to do it'. (P.77) Cook mentions brawling and visitng brothels as typical soldierly behaviour, Aronson discusses the common practice of supplementing your meagre income as an ordinary soldier by acting as a male homosexual prostitute. Seems to me both authors have a marked agenda: Aronson's being to draw out the extraordinary degree to which he was involved with gay (in the modern sense) society, Cook's to rehabilitate him as an exceptionally able candidate to be king. Sandpiper (talk) 09:17, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
Cook really does have an agenda about proving Eddy being entirely heterosexual, and singularly fails to do so. I noticed the article seeks to ridicule Aronson by his arguments for homosexuality, but Cook had some right corkers of his own. He says Eddy was straight because he followed fashion. That he failed to find a pretty 16 year old woman attractive because his mother had told him not to. Such as Eddy's sudden interest in marriage while the Cleveland st scandal was at its height showed he had always been interested in women. That the singular lack of paperwork from the scandal actually mentioning Eddy shows it was not his name they were trying to prevent being discovered. Interestingly David Duff on Queen Mary seems to take it as read that half the aristocracy of europe knew him to be gay. Hunting about i noticed a review of another book by Cook, arguing he is very partisan there too about only acknowledging evidence for his thesis and not against.Sandpiper (talk) 23:18, 17 September 2014 (UTC)
    • ^ Aronson, pp. 53–54; Harrison, p. 35.
    • ^ Aronson, p. 74.