For his Royal Highness Klaus Heinrich, prince of a small German duchy, life means servitude to traditional ducal functions - until he meets the independent-spirited and liberal-minded American Miss Spoelmann. During the course of his unorthodox and quixotically tender wooing, Heinrich is forced to reach into unknown depths of his personality and discover the real meaning of the word ‘duty’.
Peopled with a range of characters from aristocrat to artisan, Royal Highness provides a microcosmic view of Europe before the Great War. Mann’s charming fable of a decaying, stratified society rejuvenated by modern forces illustrates what he regarded as a universal truth: that ripeness and death are necessary conditions for rebirth.
Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?
It wasn't entirely wasted, but this is far from Mann at his best.
Would you recommend Royal Highness to your friends? Why or why not?
No, because the story is quite dull. It is mostly an exploration of what goes into forming the German prince of the pre-WWI era. I might recommend it to a fellow historian, as it seems clear that Mann was elaborating his view of the German national character and militaristic tendencies (of the era) in this story.
Would you listen to another book narrated by Simon Vance?
Yes, but the narration was rather uninspired.
Do you think Royal Highness needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?
No, not that type of a book.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful