A story about a young man who goes out into the world, meets trials, and finds a princess — so what’s new?
The young man is adventurous Axel Munthe from Stockholm, Sweden, desiring to become a doctor and position himself in high society. Later in his life he would write The Story of San Michele, an international bestseller.
One day in 1891, Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden-Norway enters his office for a consultation. She is the beloved granddaughter of Kaiser Wilhelm I and married to Crown Prince Gustaf of The United Kingdoms of Sweden and Norway.
The meeting was to be the beginning of a life-long relationship. The story in this book is about how it started, about their lives until this very moment when their paths cross for the first time. When they meet, they are locked into the roles of a doctor and a patient. But they are also a man and a woman, young and attractive — charming, when they wanted to, and used to playing power games.
A Royal Patient is a work of fiction, albeit based on extensive biographical research in private and public archives. The tale is told by episodes, alternating between the two protagonists and contrasting their development and experiences. Both were intelligent, colourful personalities. They moved back and forth across Europe. Stockholm, London, Montpellier, Paris, Karlsruhe, Berlin, Cairo, Capri and Rome are settings for scenes in the story.
How did a healthy, active upper-class young woman become a patient in medical treatment? How did a young Swede, son of an apothecary in Stockholm, become a sought-after doctor in Rome? These are key questions in the personal histories of how young Axel Munthe strived to become a successful doctor and young Victoria of Baden tried to meet expectations on how to be the perfect Crown Princess.
The story is grounded in the late 19th century practice of medicine and the particular context of the cosmopolitan upper classes in Europe, but the two young protagonists’ aspirations and dilemmas are timeless as are their struggles over dependency and autonomy. Episodes deal with romance, sex, childbirths, potentially fatal accidents, deaths, and not least with medical ideas about women’s bodies and minds.
|Формат:||22.9cm x 15.2cm x 3.1cm|
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