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Edward VII, noted a former German Chancellor, showed a 'marked predilection for very rich people'. It happened that the richest were also Jewish, an association which was deplored by his family, subjects and not least his fellow monarchs, at a time of mounting anti-Semitism in Europe. Denied any meaningful occupation by Queen Victoria, he took consolation in a style of living beyond his means. Edward's Jewish friends - who mixed uneasily with the 'Marlborough House' set ('the fashionable bad set and betting people') - became indispensables to him. They provided the camaraderie, lavish entertain, political intelligence and financial advice that he so desired. This cosmopolitan coterie numbered Nathaniel Rothschild, the first Jewish peer, his brothers and their cousin Baron Ferdinand; the exotic Sassoons, the 'Rothschilds of the East', from Baghdad by way of Bombay; Baron Maurice de Hirsch, the least known but richest of them all, who made his prodigious fortune by driving the first railroad through the turbulent Balkans; and Sir Ernest Cassel - 'Windsor Cassel' - who nursed the royal portfolio through the reign and was the last man to call on the dying King with an envelope stuffed with banknotes. Among lesser figures were 'Sister Agnes' Keyser, the solicitor, Sir George Lewis, who was said to know enough to hang half the City of London, the doctor, Sir Felix Semon, and the American banker, Jacob S. Schiff. Anthony Allfrey provides an original and stimulating insight into Edward VII and the money magnates who surrounded and sustained him - a relationship of mutual gain and indulgence.
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Anthony Allfrey was born in London and educated in America, England and France. He is the author of Man of Arms: The Life and Legend of Sir Basil Zaharoff, and a contributor to the Dictionary of National Biography.
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Book Description Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1991. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0297811258